At Its Most Basic
At its most basic, the crime of conspiracy refers to when a group of people (a group of as few as two) come together to cooperate in the commission of a crime. As such, everyone involved in the group is not required to have engaged in the alleged illegal act itself in order to face the charge of conspiracy to commit the crime in question. The crime of conspiracy refers to people being in the orbit of the crime – rather than necessarily taking an active role in the crime. The elements of the crime of conspiracy include:
An Overt Act
The law has little tolerance for people who help make crimes possible, and this is where conspiracy charges come in.
In order for the charge of conspiracy to hold, there must be some evidence that the person or people charged with conspiracy agreed to cooperate in some capacity in the crime in question. If, for example, you inadvertently provided the criminal who committed the crime with information that helped him or her carry it out, this is different than coming together with him or her to offer critical information in support of a crime that you are well aware of. It is the prosecution’s task to prove that you engaged in the latter and not the former.
In order to be found guilty of conspiracy, your intent must be evaluated. If helping the criminal commit his or her crime was not your intention; the prosecution may have a problem proving otherwise. If you told your buddy where your other buddy was hanging out in the course of an innocent conversation and buddy A proceeds to murder buddy B as a result of this information, the element of intent that is necessary for a conspiracy charge will not be met.
Taking the Next Step
In order for the charge of conspiracy to apply, you must have (in most cases) made an actual effort to help the person who actually committed the crime. It is not enough to make hypothetical plans to harm someone or to simply have a conversation about committing a crime. In other words, slipping a would-be murderer the address of his or her intended victim is overt participation. Idly chatting with the (unbeknownst to you) would-be murderer about how he or she would kill his or her intended victim is not.
Turn to an Experienced Gatesville Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing a conspiracy charge, attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Gatesville, Texas, has the experience, legal insight, and resources to help. We are on your side, so please do not wait to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today.