When you have been accused of a conspiracy charge, you could face serious penalties for planning to commit an illegal act. Being convicted of these charges could bring devastating consequences that you will face for the rest of your life. If you are facing conspiracy charges, reaching out to the legal team at the Simmrin Law Group can help by speaking to a Downey conspiracy attorney.
What Is Conspiracy?
Conspiracy is a crime where two or more people mutually agree to commit a crime and attempt to carry that plan out. What makes conspiracy crimes so unique is that the criminal act does not need to be executed for a person to be convicted of the crime. Most criminal charges require a criminal mind and a criminal act for a person to be convicted of a crime.
With conspiracy charges, the criminal act is not required to be carried out for a person to be convicted of the charge. A person could be charged with the act of conspiracy if there was a plan to commit a crime. If the crime was carried out, that person could also be charged with an additional conspiracy charge.
A conspiracy attorney in Downey can look over your case to see if it truly meets the elements of a conspiracy charge.
For a free legal consultation with a conspiracy lawyer serving Downey, call (310) 896-2723
Elements of a Conspiracy Crime
To be convicted of a conspiracy charge, the following elements must be met:
- There must be an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. This agreement does not have to be in writing, however there must be a mutual understanding between all parties that an unlawful action would take place.
- All conspirators must have a specific intent to commit the crime. For this element to be proven, it must be understood that all parties were aware that the execution plan was criminal and tried to proceed with it regardless. Even if all parties were not aware of the details of the planned crime, they could still be charged with conspiracy.
- There must be evidence that at least one of the conspirators executed an overt act. To prove this element, the overt act does not need to be the act of the crime itself. The overt act can include any step that leads to the progression of the criminal act, and it also must be executed after the plan has been discussed and agreed upon.
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Criminal Acts Associated with Conspiracy Charges
Anyone attempting to commit a criminal act can be charged with conspiracy. Some of the common criminal acts associated with conspiracy include:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual exploitation
- Armed robbery
- Money laundering
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Penalties for Conspiracy Charges
Depending on the facts of the crime, conspiracy is a crime that can be charged at the federal and state level. Conspiracy charges can also be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
One of the most concerning aspects of a conspiracy charge is that you could face the same penalties if you committed the actual crime. For example, if you were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, you could be at risk of facing the same penalties that you would face if you murdered someone.
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Defenses to Conspiracy Charges
After being accused of committing a conspiracy offense, you have the right to fight these charges. You can take advantage of several defenses to prevent yourself from being charged with conspiracy. These common defenses include:
Having Never Agreed to Participate in a Conspiracy
To be convicted of a conspiracy charge, it must be proven that you and a co-conspirator had a mutual agreement to commit a crime if it is discovered that you did not know the co-conspirator’s plan to commit a crime. This defense could be used if you had a hypothetical conversation with a co-conspirator about committing a crime. There is a difference between fantasizing about committing a crime and taking action steps to commit that crime.
Withdrawing Your Participation from the Conspiracy
This defense can be used if you decided to back out of the conspiracy before the crime was committed or before the crime was intended to happen. To successfully use this defense, you must provide evidence that shows that you withdrew your participation from the conspiracy. This includes that your co-conspirators also knew that you withdrew your participation from the plan. The lack of a carried-out plan is not enough to prove that your participation was withdrawn.
Lack of Evidence that You or Your Co-Conspirator Committed an Overt Act
Another common defense that you can use is to argue that you or your co-conspirator failed to commit an overt act that could further progress the crime. An example of an overt act would be learning how to case a building in preparation for a robbery. If the overt act is missing from your conspiracy attempt, you have a greater chance of not being convicted of the crime. To successfully use this defense, it must be proven that you or your co-conspirator did not act in anticipation or preparation for the alleged crime.
You Were Forced to Participate in a Conspiracy Under Coercion or Duress
Duress is a defense that defendants can use when they have been coerced under the influence of another person to commit a crime. For this defense to be valid, it must be proven that your ability to act under free will was compromised and that you were threatened with serious physical harm. Depending on the circumstances, being under economic duress could also count as a reasonable defense against a conspiracy charge.
Talk to a Downey Conspiracy Lawyer Today
Conspiracy charges are serious charges that you do not want to gamble with. To give yourself a fighting chance at avoiding a conviction for a conspiracy charge, contact the legal team at the Simmrin Law Group. We understand how terrifying it is to face these charges alone and want to do everything we can to help you fight for your freedom.
Fill out our contact form or call us today for a free case evaluation with a conspiracy lawyer in Downey.
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