top of page

What are the Stages Of Crime during Commission of a crime ?

Behind every crime which take place intentionally , there is a process behind it . That process are nothing but "Stages Of Crime".

Stages Of Crime
Stages Of Crime

In this blog , we will be discussing the various stages of crime. Crime is not merely a random incident , In fact there is a process behind it or we can also call it stages. We don't have any separate or particular sections under Indian Penal Code for the stages. we have to understand the theory behind these stages .To understand that , lets start discussing the stages.

So, there are four stages of crime :

  • Mental Contemplation 'or' Intention

  • Preparation

  • Attempt

  • Accomplishment

Now , we will discuss all the stages one by one .

Mental Contemplation 'Or" Intention : This is the first stage of crime .

According to Sir James Stephen, Mental Contemplation or intention is the direction of the conduct towards the object chosen upon considering the motive which suggests the choice.

For any crime mental contemplation or intention is the first stage of any offence.

In this stage criminal or offender decides the motive of commission of a crime.

This stage is also known as mental or psycho stage.

At this stage criminal has already decided his direction towards offense.

Mental Stage is not Punishable , In Layman language : One cannot be punished for having an intention to commit a crime. In fact it is very very difficult to prove that a person is having any ill intention because we can't read anyone's mind. Thus, only having intention will not constitute an offense. Intention is the very important aspect in stages of crime and also in Indian Penal Code.

Preparation : This is the second stage . It means to arrange the necessary resources for the execution of an offense.

It means arranged resources and measures necessary for commission of a crime.

Generally , it is not punishable because it is impossible to prove that preparation was made or directed for a wrongful act or was done with an evil intention or mind, But this is not an absolute rule . There are provisions under Indian Penal Code which provides that when offenses are so grave or serious then it would be the utmost priority to stop the preparation of such an offense at the preliminary stages of crime . Example of such offenses are : Making or selling instruments for counterfeiting of coins (Section 233) , Making or selling instruments for counterfeiting of Indian coins (Section 234) , Possession of instrument or material for the purpose of using the same for counterfeiting coin (Section 235) and Making preparation to commit dacoity (Section 399) . These are the offenses which can be stopped at the preliminary stage itself as per the Indian Penal Code .

Attempt : It comes third among all the stages of crime. This stage talks about the next step towards the commission of a crime. Sir James Stephen and Prof. John F Kennedy have termed it as "Inchoate crime".

Literal meaning of "Inchoate" is anything which has just begun 'or' at preliminary stage. So, basically Inchoate crime can be called as preliminary crime or incomplete crime , because accomplishment or end result of pursuing a crime is yet to come . Therefore, it is an incomplete crime.

According to section 511 of Indian penal code , The term attempt means the direct movement towards the commission of a crime after the necessary preparation. Acts which are not immediately related to the offense or in other words "remotely related" to any offense will not be constituted as part of attempt .

Accomplishment : This is the last or final element in stages of crime. Generally, most of the crimes are punishable only after the crime has been committed. Except the few exception which we discussed above at the preparation and attempt stage. For example : If a person buys a knife with an intend to murder his enemy but keeps the same in the pocket. He would mot be guilty at this stage . He would only be culpable after he either make a direct attempt towards the actual murder or actually commits the murder.

bottom of page