If you’re facing conspiracy charges for a crime you may or may not have even committed, you likely have a variety of questions. For example, what exactly is conspiracy? If I changed my mind and the intended crime never happened, why am I being charged or punished? What if I played a relatively minor role and almost had no part in the crime at all? Conspiracy charges almost exclusively involve at least two people. Sometimes, even groups of people can be charged with and involved in criminal conspiracies. It’s important to note that one person acting alone can’t be charged with conspiracy.
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What is Conspiracy?
At its core, a conspiracy charge is basically a charge involving an agreement between at least two people to engage in some type of unlawful or criminal act together. The crime in question may not even have occurred, but the agreement between two parties is what makes the conspiracy charge. Basically, it’s that one person conspired to commit a crime with another person. Unfortunately, there is a lot of gray area where conspiracy charges are concerned, especially at the federal level, which means even seemingly minor players or actors in a crime or potential crime can get slapped with hefty charges and lengthy prison sentences.
Crimes Involving Conspiracy
- Gang activity
- Drug distribution
The Preparatory Crime
Conspiracy is also known as a ‘preparatory crime.’ It’s not the intended or main criminal act. It’s a crime that involves the preparation or planning of another crime. Conspiracy to commit murder or burglary might involve the purchase or planning of weapons or exchange of money for services. A variety of different acts between two or more people can constitute a conspiracy charge. If the intended crime never took place, you could have the legal advantage, although each case is different. Make sure to discuss the particular details of your case with your criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
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Conspiracy Conviction Penalties
Depending upon the circumstances of your individual case, you could be facing a minimum of 10 years in prison or longer. The type of conspiracy you’re being charged with will have an impact on the potential penalties involved. For example, conspiracy to defraud somebody or embezzle money will likely carry a significantly lighter prison sentence than conspiracy to commit murder. Some crimes will also include mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Mandatory minimum laws are usually related to drugs, drug possession, drug trafficking or drug distribution. No matter what type of conspiracy charges or related charges you’re facing, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Whether the intended crime happened or not, you need a proven lawyer protecting your rights and looking out for your future and freedom.
Unfortunately, conspiracy charges are frequently involving relatively minor players. Hearing about innocent victims begin swept up in conspiracy charges is not uncommon. This also means that people who didn’t even take part in the main crime could be charged with conspiracy to commit murder or equally serious charges.
Mandatory Minimums For Low-Level Drug Offenders
Since many conspiracy charges involve gang activity or drug distribution, even minor players and low level, non-violent offenders can face hefty penalties and prison sentences due to mandatory minimum laws. Basically, you could be swept up into somebody else’s crime with little more than a bit of knowledge you may or may not have understood at the time you learned it, and before you know it, you’re facing 10 years or more in a federal prison facility due to mandatory minimum drug laws. Each case is different, but mandatory minimum laws take all discretion out of the courtroom. A judge or jury may not be able to take your specific circumstances under consideration prior to sentencing.
When to Call a Jackson Defense Lawyer
If you or somebody you love is facing conspiracy charges, whether drugs, murder or embezzlement are involved, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Jackson as soon as possible. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you could be facing lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines and the stigma of a potential felony conviction. The sooner you contact a criminal defense attorney in Jackson, the sooner your defense case can be built. Don’t take conspiracy charges lightly, whether the intended crime actually came to fruition or not.
If you’re facing conspiracy charges or other related charges, contact the skilled criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a case consultation