Conspiracy charges are extremely serious in California. If you have been accused of this crime, you need help from an experienced Burbank conspiracy lawyer immediately. Even if you are not guilty or the act was not successful, you could face high fines and long prison sentences if convicted.
Understanding how to develop a strong defense takes knowledge of the law and commitment to success. Our professional legal team is ready to gather evidence to minimize the charges and fight for your freedom. We work at both the state and federal levels for either misdemeanor or felony conspiracy cases. Do not wait to contact the Simmrin Law Group for help today.
Conspiracy in California
Conspiracy is the act of agreeing with at least one other person to commit a crime and acting toward the completion of the crime. Whether the crime is completed does not change the act of conspiracy, although going through with the robbery, murder, or any other crime will bring additional charges. You can face an allegation of conspiracy if you appear to have participated in the planning and execution.
Conspiracy in California is covered under Penal Code §182 and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The determination usually depends on the type of crime originally intended or actually committed. However, misdemeanor conspiracy is considered a “wobbler” and could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Factors such as your level of involvement, any criminal history you have, and the severity of the crime can influence how the prosecutor decides to proceed.
A misdemeanor conspiracy conviction in California carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and fines up to $10,000. For felonies, the punishment is a maximum of three years in jail and fines of no more than $10,000. These would be in addition to any other penalties associated with other charges.
For a free legal consultation with a conspiracy lawyer serving Burbank, call (310) 896-2723
Federal Conspiracy Charges in California
Conspiracy at the federal level falls under 18 USC §371, which mandates fines and up to five years in federal prison for basic conspiracy. When the situation involves racketeering, murder, or other severe crimes, the penalties can increase to 10 years or more. Fines may range as high as $1 million.
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Defenses Against a Conspiracy Charge in Burbank
The challenging part of defending yourself against conspiracy is that the act does not have to be successful for you to be charged. Anyone who assists with the effort to commit a crime risks accusation if the prosecutor can prove that you participated. The most critical action you can take is to have a skilled conspiracy lawyer in Burbank who understands viable strategies for protecting your interests.
Your attorney will thoroughly discuss the circumstances that led to the charge and work to determine your level of involvement. Because conspiracy requires an overt act towards the crime, one strategy may be to show that you did not engage in any behavior that moved the plan forward. For example, if the charge is a conspiracy to commit arson, simply mentioning that you had gasoline stored in your garage would not show you purchased it for the crime. Other individuals may have stolen and used the gas without your knowledge.
Additional defenses include demonstrating that you did not agree to participate in the conspiracy. This may include being forcibly coerced or blackmailed into acting when you normally would not participate. Likewise, your lawyer may develop evidence showing that you withdrew your intention to act in the conspiracy and indicated that to the other participants.
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Special Circumstances Around Conspiracy
Conspiracy was originally created as a way to prosecute large-scale crimes committed by illegal crime syndicates working throughout cities or across state lines. Prosecutors will sometimes work to include a conspiracy charge along with other offenses. If they cannot show conspiracy successfully, they may turn to other options.
Additional crimes related to conspiracy that carry similar penalties include:
- Aiding and abetting: When someone encourages, aids in, or facilitates the commission of a crime, even if they are not at the scene of the crime.
- Accessory after the fact: If the defendant helped another person escape arrest, trial, or punishment after the crime.
- Participation in a criminal street gang: When the defendant joins a group that is known to engage in illegal acts.
To prove the action of Participation in a Criminal Street Gang, the state prosecutor must provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual actively participated in the gang. They must prove the person did so with the awareness that the group showed a pattern of criminal activity. Finally, the state must also show the defendant willfully promoted, benefitted from, or helped with criminal activities.
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Contact a Burbank Conspiracy Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
A competent conspiracy attorney in Burbank is necessary to prove your innocence against unfounded charges. Knowing how to minimize any negative evidence and showcase positive details requires a thorough understanding of how the law works. An aggressive attorney will work tirelessly to protect your rights and help you avoid unnecessary penalties.
Conspiracy charges are not easy to fight and should not be faced alone. Whether you are up against state or federal prosecutors, you risk tremendous penalties and additional charges if they try to make an example of you. You need the guidance and support of a Burbank conspiracy attorney from the Simmrin Law Group to achieve the best outcome for your case.
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