Criminal Lawyer in Quincy
Defense Attorney for Conspiracy Charges
Being convicted of conspiracy is a serious matter. The basics of a conspiracy charge are simply that one can be found guilty simply by agreeing with at least one other person to commit an unlawful act. It is a separate charge from actually committing the unlawful act. Further, to be found guilty of conspiracy, the unlawful act does not even need to have been committed.
In Massachusetts, it used to be that in addition to agreeing with one or more conspirators, at least one person had to do an "overt act", which was some action that led, or could lead, to the actual commission of a crime. For example, let's say two people were discussing and agreeing to steal a certain car. One of these people goes out and buys a slide hammer puller at the local hardware store. It is intended to be used to steal the vehicle, although buying it is no crime. That is the overt act. However, it is no longer necessary for any party involved in the conspiracy to do an overt act. Just the fact of agreeing with each other is enough to be charged with conspiracy. If the two people actually do steal the car, they can be charged with two crimes: conspiracy to steal the car, and stealing the car. If you are charged with conspiracy, or any other crime, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney in Weymouth immediately to represent you.
In addition, even if a party to the conspiracy backs out and tells the others he wants nothing to do with the crime, or doesn't go to the crime when it occurs, or even alerts the authorities that the crime is going to occur, that person can still be charged with conspiracy. In other words, once you conspire, there is no backing out, in the eyes of the law. The persons involved in the conspiracy do not need to have any "formal" agreement to commit the crime, and they don't have to have agreed upon the details of the crime. It isn't even required that the conspirators met together.
All that the prosecution needs to do is prove there was an agreed-upon plan to commit a crime and that the defendant was in agreement with the plan. However, it is not enough to charge a person with conspiracy if he only knows about such a conspiracy, or associates with others who are conspirators. In order to be charged, the person must have actually been involved in communications with another or others to the effect that they agreed to commit a crime and the person wanted the crime to occur.
Penalties for Conspiracy
The punishment for conspiracy is based on the minimum amount of time for the felony crime itself.
- Felony: 20 years to life Conspiracy to commit felony: maximum 20 years
- Felony: 10 years to life Conspiracy to commit felony: maximum 10 years
- Felony: less than 10 years Conspiracy to commit felony: maximum 5 years
- All other crimes: Conspiracy to commit that crime: maximum 2.5 years
When the police are investigating a crime, there may have been non-standard, inconsistent, or illegal procedures used. Witness testimony can be ambiguous. It is not necessary to have direct evidence of conspiracy, as that is often not possible, so an inference of conspiracy, based on the particulars of the situation, is allowable by law. In addition, co-conspirators can make statements that can then be used against you at trial. And often hearsay rules don't apply in conspiracy cases.
These are just a few reasons why you need to get in touch with a Weymouth criminal defense lawyer immediately so I can initiate the proper investigation and evaluate and determine the most effective strategy for your defense case. My goal is resolve charges against you favorably. I know your future, your reputation and your future ability to live life in freedom could be at risk. Contact my firm Flanagan and Associates, as soon as possible. As a Quincy criminal defense attorney, I will be by your side all the way.