Criminal charges may lead to incarceration, fines, and numerous other penalties depending on the nature of underlying crime. However, being charged with conspiracy to commit a crime often increases the severity of potential penalties.
If you have been charged with conspiracy, contact an Atlanta conspiracy lawyer to assess your situation, discuss your defense strategies, and determine every option available to you. A qualified criminal defense attorney can fight for you.
What Is a Conspiracy?
Georgia law defines conspiracy as two or more people agreeing to attempt an illegal activity. Intent is an important aspect of a conspiracy charge, yet it is often misunderstood.
Consider the example of three friends who decide to steal a car. They discuss their strategy, choose the car, and determine when to steal it. In that scenario, all three could likely be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. Again, intent is the key issue, and it does not matter if they actually steal the car or not.
It is also important to understand what is not considered conspiracy. Using the same example, if two of the friends went through the same steps, but merely told the third friend of their intentions, the third friend would not likely be charged, as he did not intend to participate.
To be convicted of a conspiracy in Georgia, the person(s) must have known that the activity or plan was unlawful and proceeded to attempt it anyway. In the example above, the friends must have known that stealing a car was illegal and then proceeded to attempt it anyway.
In addition to theft, some of the most common types of underlying crimes that also include conspiracy are:
- Distributing obscene materials: This includes anything that has a “prurient” appeal, as decided by the average person applying the standards of the community, portrays sexual conduct in an offensive way, and lacks serious artistic, literary, scientific, or political value.
- Trafficking / distributing drugs: Trafficking and distributing drugs in any variety of ways. These are more serious offenses than drug possession
- Possessing drugs: Possessing drugs either on your person or somewhere within your control such as a car, home, bag, et cetera
- Engaging in mail/wire fraud: Financial fraud using mail systems such as the US Postal Service, UPS, or various forms of information technology
- Money laundering: Creating the appearance that money from illegal activity came from legal activity
Conspiracy charges allow prosecutors to question many individuals and often pit parties against each other. That may result in some parties getting greater (or lesser) sentences than others. The bottom line is that conspiracy charges are complex, but an experienced Atlanta conspiracy lawyer can protect an individual’s interests.
Talking to an Atlanta Conspiracy Lawyer
If you have been charged with conspiracy, it is important to understand how a conspiracy charge can affect your underlying criminal charge. Make sure you do everything possible to protect your rights by contacting an Atlanta conspiracy lawyer today to discuss your situation, determine your legal defenses, and decide which options make the most sense for you.