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Impossibility Defense in Criminal Law

Definition

A defense to a charge of criminal attempt, resting on one of two arguments: first, what the defendant attempted to do fails to meet the legal definition of a crime (legal impossibility); second, under the circumstances, the defendant was incapable of committing the attempted crime, usually due to factors beyond his knowledge and control (factual impossibility). Legal impossibility may be a good defense to attempt in some jurisdictions, but factual impossibility is generally not a good defense.

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