Criminal warrant: Definition and Sanctions

The criminal warrant is characterized by inciting a person to commit murder or poisoning, without success.

The offense therefore presupposes an act of incitement. However, for there to be a criminal warrant, this incentive must imperatively remain unsuccessful.


Criminal mandate: what is it?

Criminal mandate: what is it?

Article 221-5-1 of the Penal Code criminalizes provocation not followed by effect to murder or poisoning.

This offense is called the criminal warrant. It is created by Law No. 2004-204 of 9 March 2004, known as the “Perben II Law”.

It is therefore an autonomous offense (distinct from complicity) and a formal one, since it is consumed in the absence of results.


When do we say that there is a criminal warrant?

When do we say that there is a criminal warrant?

The criminal term is characterized by making offers or promises to a person , or offering him donations, presents or benefits of any kind, so that the latter commits a crime, in this case murder or poisoning.

Indeed, the offense of criminal warrant is consumed from the moment the proposal was made, and not when the murder or sponsored poisoning was committed or even attempted.


How is the criminal warrant punished?

How is the criminal warrant punished?

The criminal warrant is punishable by 10 years imprisonment and a fine of € 150,000 .

Despite its name, the criminal warrant is only an offense, since it is a term of imprisonment (and not criminal imprisonment) that is incurred.

The offense of a criminal warrant is constituted, and therefore sanctioned as an autonomous offense, only if the crime in question, namely murder or poisoning, has not been committed or attempted.

Indeed, in the opposite case, the instigator is repressed on the basis of the complicity of assassination or poisoning, or even the complicity of attempted murder or poisoning.

Good to know : the complicity of a criminal mandate can also be punished. This is the case when a person, through his or her assistance or assistance for example, facilitates the fulfillment of the criminal mandate.

Example : A person who provides material assistance to the sponsor of the murder by providing the weapon to be handed over to the general partner is punishable.


What is the interest of the concept of criminal warrant?

What is the interest of the concept of criminal warrant?

Bridging a gap in French jurisdiction

The creation of the offense of criminal warrant makes it possible to fill a gap in the French repressive arsenal.

Previously, it was impossible to sanction the sponsor of an offense for which the general partner was not committed to the act (offense neither consumed nor attempted). Indeed, the rules of complicity were not applicable, since the notion of complicity presupposes a punishable main offense.

Case of the Lacour case

The notion of criminal warrant was notably lacking in the famous Lacour case.

Judged in 1962, this case involved Mr Lacour, who intended to have someone killed by a third party recruited for this purpose, against remuneration. Mr. Lacour had given instructions to the third party providing for the terms of the abduction of the potential victim.

However, the third party solicited did not execute the mischief , while still extracting the money.

The Court of Cassation considered that Mr Lacour could not be considered as an accomplice, the committed offense not having been committed or even attempted.

The judges also ruled out the attempted murder, the instructions given not being able to characterize the beginning of execution, element necessary to characterize the attempt.

With the criminal warrant, in the event that the general partner does not execute his contract (or even attempt it), the sponsor, who can not be prosecuted on the ground of the complicity, can on the other hand be sanctioned for the have recruited .