LAW 535-001 – Criminal Law

Impossibility


Impossibility is a common defense to attempt crimes. It is divided into factual impossibility and legal impossibility.

Factual Impossibility

Factual impossibility occurs when the defendant's objective is illegal but, unbeknownst to him, impossible to accomplish under the circumstances.

e.g., pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger, but the gun jams

Factual impossibility is rarely a valid defense.