Solicitation occurs when one encourages or asks another to commit a crime. If the other person refuses, a solicitation has nonetheless occurred. If the other person accepts, a conspiracy charge will be introduced instead. If the crime actually occurs, the original solicitor will instead be charged as an accomplice to the substantive crime.
Solicitation is punished because it often leads to danger and people should be protected from instigators.
MPC § 5.02(3) permits renunciation as a defense so long as it is voluntary and the solicitor prevents the crime from occurring.
3. Can a Solicitation be an Attempt?
A solicitation by itself is usually not enough to constitute a criminal attempt.