Dangerous Proximity Test
(P)reparation is not attempt. But some preparations may amount to an attempt. It is a question of degree. If the preparation comes very near to the accomplishment of the act, the intent to complete it renders the crime so probable that the act will be a misdemeanor, although there is still a locus poenitentiae, in the need of a further exertion of the will to complete the crime.
United States v. Coplon, 185 F.2d 629, 633 (2d Cir. 1950) (quoting Holmes, J., in Commonwealth v. Peaslee, 177 Mass. 267, 272 (1901)), cert. denied., 342 U.S. 920 (1952)).
[cited in USAM 9-65.700]
Updated February 19, 2015