Conspiracy occurs when two or more people secretly plan to commit a crime or engage in illegal activities. People may conspire to commit a small scale crime such as robbery or a more severe crime such as a drug operation, and everything in between. How severe the conspiracy charges are will depend on the type of crime that was planned. Criminal charges filed for conspiracy may also vary based on the criminal record of the individual.
Conspiracy is an agreement between parties to commit an act; however, the act need not have occurred. The act itself may be one of many different things but it must be an overt act, meaning that it is an agreement to perform a crime. There may be several or more co-conspirators to a crime and the conspirators need not know of each other. For example, one person may be a conspirator to one part of the crime, while another person is a conspirator to another portion.
If convicted of conspiracy crimes the outcome depends on the type of conspiracy committed. If the conspiracy charge is classified as a felony you will likely be sentenced to at least a year of prison time. Other sentences may include fines, community service, and probation.
Conspiracy to commit a crime is often an additional charge to the crime itself. For example, if someone is charged with residential burglary, they may also be charged with conspiracy to commit a residential burglary, a felony charge. If found guilty of both charges the defendant would be facing two separate sentences – one for each crime.
It is important to note that each member of a conspiracy can be criminally charged with all of the crimes that are committed by any of the other conspirators, as long as they are within the scope of the original conspiracy. This is true even if the person is unaware of the crimes having been committed.
When you are facing conspiracy charges, consider it a serious matter. You need to seek the help of an experienced criminal attorney. The attorney will work to try to reduce your charges and defend you against all charges.