Hampton Roads Conspiracy Lawyer

Conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit an unlawful act. If someone is charged with conspiracy, the prosecution is alleging that the defendant was part of an agreement with at least one other person to commit a crime, regardless of whether or not the crime was completed.

Depending on the underlying offense, a conspiracy conviction can have serious consequences. If you are accused of conspiracy along with other offenses, it can complicate your case and enhance the potential penalties. Thankfully, a Hampton Roads conspiracy lawyer could help defend you from these charges. Reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney today to begin working towards a favorable resolution of your case.

Overt Acts

In Virginia, conspiracy requires not only an agreement to commit a crime but also an overt act. An overt act is some action which shows that the person intends to commit the underlying crime. In federal court, the prosecution does not have to show that the person committed an overt act.

Charges for Both Conspiracy and the Underlying Offense

It is fairly common for a person to be charged with both conspiracy and the underlying offense. Most of the time, if the underlying crime of the conspiracy was completed, a person will be charged with both the crime itself and conspiracy to commit the crime. The courts have said that it is acceptable for a person to be charged with both of these crimes. For example, if two people rob a bank together, they could both be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery as well as the robbery itself.

Unjust Accusations of Conspiracy

Sometimes, individuals are falsely accused of conspiracy. Just because a person was present when a crime was committed, it does not mean the person was necessarily involved in the crime. They could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and still face conspiracy charges. Also, just because two people commit a crime together, that in and of itself is not proof that there was conspiracy. If there was not any sort of agreement or understanding to commit the crime, it is not a conspiracy.

How Hampton Roads Prosecutors Treat Conspiracy

How prosecutors approach a conspiracy charge in some way depends on what the underlying charge is. If it is conspiracy to commit a non-violent offense, the defendant would be treated differently than if it was conspiracy to commit a violent offense. Often, conspiracy charges are seen as throw-ins. Especially if there is a guilty plea to the underlying offense, the conspiracy charges may end up getting dismissed at the end of the case.

Legal Penalties for Conspiracy

The penalties for conspiracy depend on the underlying charge. For the most part, the conspiracy is a lesser penalty than the underlying charge. For example, if a person commits a capital felony which is punishable by death, the conspiracy charge carries a max of 20 years. If a person commits a Class Six felony which carries up to five years, then the maximum penalty for the conspiracy is one year in jail.

There is an exception for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. In these cases, the conspiracy charges can carry the same charges as the underlying offense.

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

Several things could affect how prosecutors and judges approach a conspiracy case. They will look at questions such as:

  • What was the underlying goal of the conspiracy?
  • Was the conspiracy completed?
  • Did law enforcement stop the conspiracy?
  • Did the defendant stop because they had a change of heart?
  • How far did the conspiracy progress?
  • What kind of planning was involved?
  • How many people were involved?

A Hampton Roads conspiracy lawyer will want to look into many of the same questions. Depending on the specific facts of a case, a defense attorney may be able to answer some of the prosecution’s questions in a way that is favorable to the defendant.

Let a Hampton Roads Conspiracy Attorney Work For You

If you were charged with conspiracy, you want an experienced attorney who has handled not just conspiracy cases but also the underlying case. You should seek out a Hampton Roads conspiracy lawyer who you trust and who you believe could help you. The sooner an attorney is involved in a case the better the possible outcomes, so you should not delay. Reach out to a Hampton Roads criminal defense lawyer today.