Inchoate crimes involve taking steps toward directly or indirectly participating in a crime, including solicitation, conspiracy or the attempt to commit a crime. Other types of inchoate crimes include being an accomplice or accessory to a crime.
Inchoate crimes are often referred to as incomplete crimes, as the person is usually stopped before the crime or target offense can be committed. For this reason, it is usually impossible for a person to be charged with both an inchoate crime and the target offense at the same time. The only exception is conspiracy, as it is possible to be charged with both the actual crime and a conspiracy to commit that crime.
Attempt to commit is considered the most serious inchoate crime, as this involves actually trying and failing to commit the crime. Conspiracy to commit a crime usually involves agreeing to commit a crime, such as a murder. If a person agrees with someone else to kill a person and actually succeeds, they are usually charged with both murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Solicitation of a crime involves asking someone else to commit a crime, even if that person doesn't actually commit the crime.
If a person helps someone else to commit a crime, they can be charged as an accessory to the crime. This can either be an accessory before the crime or an accessory after the fact, both of which are considered inchoate crimes.