Voluntary renunciation of a crime - comments from a Federal Judge / MIP Law Group

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The concept of voluntary renunciation of crime

The commission of any crime is divided into three stages:

I. Preparation stage. The moment when a person harbors plans to commit a crime and prepares favorable conditions for carrying out an illegal deliberate action.

II. Attempted crime. A person makes an attempt (attempt) to commit crimes, but does not receive the final result. The attempt itself is already a crime. It is possible to give up thoughts of finishing a planned criminal act against a specific person or society as a whole after an unsuccessful attempt. If the criminal, after being unable to complete his plan, attempts again, he is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

III. Completed crime.

A stage that becomes a crime according to the canons of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, when the criminal has achieved his goals.

The thirty-first article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation provides that it is possible to abandon plans and not commit a crime. This matters when a person who has made a plan to commit one or another act unlawful in relation to society, at will, stops preparations for the impending crime or the fact of its commission.

Voluntarily giving up criminal plans differs significantly from active repentance, stipulated by the seventy-fifth article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

You can repent after a crime has actually been committed or an attempt has been made. It is expressed in confession and voluntary compensation for damage caused to the person or society against whom illegal actions were committed.

Refusal to end a crime, expressed in one’s own desire, is recognized as such if criminal actions against society have not been committed, even if there was an attempt.

Another difference is that voluntary refusal to commit a crime may be the reason for exemption from bringing an individual to justice under the law if the person hatched a plan to commit illegal actions against public life, but refused to put it into practice.

Active repentance will not be a reason to terminate criminal proceedings for violating the law. But it can serve as a mitigating circumstance when it comes to sentencing.

Attempted murder

To begin with, we note that this type of criminal act can only be committed with direct intent. This means that the criminal directly desires the death of the victim and does everything to ensure that death occurs. In this case, the actions of the perpetrator must be stopped by someone, suppressed, in other words, that is, something must prevent the further commission of the crime. As a result, death does not occur for objective reasons, in the absence of which the act would be completed.

So, attempted murder is qualified under Part 3 of Art. 30, part 1 art. 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. If the criminal’s guilt is proven in court, then, according to the rules of criminal law, the punishment cannot exceed ¾ of the maximum provided for in the article.

Example No. 1 . Protonov P.R., being intoxicated, due to a minor dispute, began to strangle his wife Protonov A.P., pressing her against the wall. When the wife began to turn blue and wheeze, the couple’s eldest son ran into the kitchen, where all this was happening, who freed his mother and called the police. In this case, there was every reason to believe that without the intervention of Protonov’s son A.P. would have been strangled to death. Since, according to Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, for a completed murder, up to 15 years of imprisonment can be imposed, taking into account the attempt, the convicted person (3/4 of 15 = 11 years is the maximum possible punishment) was given 10 years of imprisonment.

Thus, an attempt means the impossibility, for objective reasons, of bringing one’s intention to completion. Such a “truncated” composition can occur when committing almost any crime (theft, robbery, rape, etc.). The incompleteness of actions is indicated in the form of an additional combination “h. 3 tbsp. 30 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation" to the main article. At the same time, when committing some types of acts, an attempt is impossible (for example, during a robbery: it is always over at the moment of the attack, regardless of whether it was possible to take possession of the victim’s property or not).

Conditions and signs of voluntary renunciation of crime

Voluntary renunciation of a crime can be characterized by the following features (signs):

  • a timely decision to abandon thoughts of committing illegal actions against people and society as a whole. Refusal from a crime is possible only before actions have been committed that led to dangerous consequences;
  • the decision to refuse to commit a crime was made out of free will and not coercion. Realizing that evil intent can be brought to an end. refusal to bring illegal ideas to completion will not be voluntary if they were not completed due to prevailing circumstances or if a person preparing to commit a crime was forced to abandon it, no matter in what way.
  • finality of the decision to refuse to commit a crime. A person, having begun a criminal plan, abandons it irrevocably; the important thing here is that he understands that he could bring the matter to a criminal conclusion. Signs that are considered basic in case of voluntary refusal to commit a crime - a person of his own free will stops the crime he has begun, although he understands that he cannot be prevented from completing his plan.

Voluntary refusal during preparation and unfinished crime

Signs that are basic when a person voluntarily decides not to commit a crime - it is by his own free will that the person stops the crime. At the same time, he realizes that there are no obstacles to bringing his plans to the end that was originally intended. The motivation to change the decision is not important. This may be a fear of being held responsible for the evil done, or repentance that has occurred, so to speak, pangs of conscience.

It turns out that voluntary refusal is the desire to stop in the very process of preparing the commission of an unfinished crime, if a person, renouncing his criminal intentions of preparation, realizes that he can complete the prepared act without hindrance.

In the case where the actual execution of a crime is simply postponed due to the fact that some insurmountable factors interfere with the planned time of commission, this is in no way considered a voluntary refusal to commit a crime.

Is it possible to recover moral damages?

People whose lives have been attempted are often concerned with the question: is it possible to demand compensation for moral damage from the perpetrator?

This question is resolved as follows:

  • A civil claim within the framework of a criminal trial can be filed at any time before the end of the judicial investigation (Part 2 of Article 44 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation). If this was not done, recovery will have to be made separately within the framework established by civil procedural legislation.
  • Art. Art. 151, 1099 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation allow the recovery of moral damage caused by a crime.
  • The upper limit of recovery is not limited, but the court has the right, according to Art. 1101 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, reduce the amount of compensation to a reasonable extent.

Important! More detailed questions of compensation are regulated by the resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation No. 10 of December 20, 1994.

Voluntary refusal in case of complicity in a crime

The fourth part of Article 31 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation defines the specifics of the voluntary refusal of accomplices of an impending and unfinished crime.

Depending on what role the accomplices play in the crime being prepared, there will be release from liability or mitigation.

The voluntary refusal of the accomplices, first of all, must be active and aimed at preventing the other participants in the conspiracy from completing their malicious intent.

If in those cases where a crime is prepared personally without the involvement of accomplices, it goes without saying that if a person voluntarily refuses to commit the crime, it will not be completed.

When a group of people is preparing to commit a crime, then if one of the accomplices voluntarily refuses to commit criminal acts, we are not talking about the fact that it cannot be completed. Therefore, having given up the idea of ​​committing malice, the accomplice in a group crime must actively help prevent the crime from happening in the first place.

Commentary to Art. 30 Criminal Code

1. When qualifying preparation, it should be borne in mind that in this case the actions that constitute the preparation are not included in the objective aspect of the crime being prepared.

Instruments for committing a crime should be understood as objects directly used in the process of committing a crime, increasing the physical capabilities of a person. The means of committing a crime are objects, substances, energy and devices, the physical, chemical and other properties of which are used to commit a crime.

Purchasing should be understood as acquisition, regardless of the method, means or instruments of committing the crime. This could be a purchase, exchange, acquisition for temporary use, theft, etc.

Manufacturing differs from mining in that the means and instruments necessary to commit a crime are created anew.

Adaptation of means and instruments for committing a crime involves their conversion from objects already at the disposal of the perpetrator.

Finding accomplices means inducing third parties to commit a crime or recruiting them. If a person, due to circumstances beyond his control, failed to persuade other persons to commit a crime, then he is responsible for failed incitement, qualified as preparation for a crime (Part 5 of Article 34 of the Criminal Code).

Conspiracy means the creation of a group of persons, a group of persons by prior conspiracy or an organized group to commit a crime.

Other intentional creation of conditions for the commission of a crime means the removal of obstacles, study of the location of the alleged crime, and other activities aimed at ensuring the opportunity to commit a crime.

2. When qualifying preparation, it is necessary to distinguish it from the detection of intent, which has no criminal legal significance. In this case, the mere expression of intention, not supported by specific actions, cannot entail criminal liability.

3. An attempt differs from preparation in that it is an attack on an object protected by criminal law, and the actions during the attempt are included in the objective side of the crime being committed.

The objective side of an attempt is characterized by three features: a) the action (inaction) is directly aimed at committing (executing) a crime; b) the commission (execution) of the crime is interrupted; c) the commission (execution) of a crime was interrupted due to circumstances beyond the control of the perpetrator.

4. In judicial practice, an unsuitable attempt is also distinguished: an attempt on an unsuitable object and an attempt with unsuitable means.

An attempt on an unfit object is characterized by the fact that the real object, to which harm is intended, is not put in danger at all (for example, an attempt to “kill” a corpse or steal drugs mistakenly believed to be narcotic).

An attempt with unsuitable means is an attempt to commit a crime with the help of such means and instruments that objectively in this particular case cannot cause harm (a factual error in the means of committing the crime).

Both types of inappropriate attempt must be qualified as an attempt on the crime that the perpetrator intended to commit.

Consequences of voluntary renunciation of crime

People who organized a crime and incited actions can be completely exempt from prosecution under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for promptly informing the authorities that a crime is being prepared, the date and time, or, having prevented it from being completed on their own, by interfering the performer to fulfill his plans.

In cases where a person who is preparing to commit criminal acts himself voluntarily renounces the idea of ​​committing a crime, the legal consequences occur in accordance with the fact that the malicious intent will not be clearly completed, which means that the person may not be held accountable under the Criminal Code RF with subsequent punishment. But there will be no legal consequences only in cases where, while preparing to commit one crime during the preparations, another crime was not committed at the same time.

If the crime was not stopped, then the measures taken to stop the preparation and completion of the unfinished crime can be counted as circumstances that will mitigate the penalties when considering the case in court.

If an accomplice to a crime refuses to commit a criminal plan, he will not be held criminally liable under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, if he takes measures within his power to prevent the crime, regardless of whether the perpetrator committed the crime to the end or stopped.

Liability for voluntary renunciation of a crime

In Art. 31 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, at the legislative level, refusal to complete an unfinished crime is recognized as voluntary, when all preparatory and preparatory actions for the intended crime cease.

Criminal liability for crimes that people changed their minds about voluntarily has its own characteristics. No measures of influence are applied to a specific person, they are not applied. But, if during the course of the crime being conceived and prepared, another criminal act was committed that violated the law, then one will have to answer for the crime committed.

The release of accomplices, as a group of accomplices in a crime, is more simplified than that of persons organizing illegal events and morally inciting them to commit it.

It is important to remember that it is possible to voluntarily stop illegal plans at any stage of the preparation and preparation of the action itself that violates the law until the moment it is committed. If the completion of a criminal act was prevented by external interference, this does not apply to a voluntary refusal to commit a crime.

When there can be no assassination attempt

We have already noted that in some crimes an attempt is impossible. Judicial practice and the general rules of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation also identify several situations in which death was prevented, but Part 3 of Art. 30 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation does not apply in this case. In other words, there can be no attempt:

If the limits of necessary defense are exceeded (Article 108 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)

Thus, if in response to unlawful violent actions a person uses force, the nature of which clearly does not correspond to the nature of the attack, the incompleteness of the act is excluded.

Example No. 5 . A neighbor in the hostel, with whom V.A. Plotnikov was repeatedly convicted. I drank often and decided to make fun of the latter. The neighbor pretended to throw dart arrows right at V.A. Plotnikov’s face, but he did not understand the joke and threw a kitchen knife at the joker’s body. The knife penetrated so deeply into the liver area that the victim was on the verge of death due to massive blood loss. Plotnikov V.A. was found guilty of attempted murder under Part 3 of Art. 30, part 1 art. 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The convict appealed the verdict, stating in the appeal that he acted within the limits of necessary defense. However, the guilty verdict was left unchanged. Thus, the higher court stated that there was no necessary defense, since the actions of the victim objectively could not be regarded as a threat to life.

In the above example it is clear that attempts under Art. 108 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation cannot be: it will either be an attempted “simple” murder under Art. 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (as in the case of V.A. Plotnikov), or causing grievous harm when exceeding the limits of necessary defense (in the case where the need for defense was objectively confirmed);

In case of careless death (Article 109 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)

Since an attempt can only be intentional, and this crime has only a careless form, the application of Part 3 of Art. 30 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation cannot exist here.

When attempting to kill a law enforcement officer

Example No. 6 . Policeman Vtorov N.E. Convict P.P. Kiselev tried to kill. Thus, Kiselev believed that he was behind bars only thanks to detective N.E. Vtorov, and after his release from the colony he attacked N.E. Vtorov. with a knife. Kiselev was convicted under Art. 317 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation to life imprisonment, while the court took into account that Kiselev committed an attack on the life of a law enforcement officer in conditions of relapse (he had previously been convicted of murder of an accomplice).

It follows from the example that in crimes of this category (attack on the life of a policeman, investigator, FSB officer, etc.), it does not matter whether the criminal carried his intent to take life to completion - reference to Part 3 of Art. 30 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation is not used. If Vtorov N.E. died, then Kiselev’s actions would be qualified under the same article.

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