Charles City Conspiracy Lawyer

Someone commits a conspiracy when they agree with one or more other people to commit a crime or use illegal means to accomplish a legal act. Those involved in the conspiracy do not need to know everyone involved or all the details. If one person in the conspiracy takes one act to further the crime, the conspiracy is complete.

A Charles City conspiracy lawyer can explain the charges and the potential ramifications if you are accused of a conspiracy offense. An experienced criminal defense attorney could provide representation to help you avoid inadvertently saying something that could be used against you later, while fighting to protect your rights and bring about a positive outcome in the case.

How Important is it to Collect Evidence?

Since the state of mind of the parties involved in an alleged conspiracy is so important, evidence that can indicate their intent is extremely valuable for both the prosecution and the defense. The prosecution must prove that the person accused intended to commit a crime and was not simply joking or speaking hypothetically. A Charles City conspiracy lawyer could work to collect and preserve evidence such as text messages or observations from witnesses.

What are the Statutes Regarding Conspiracy in Charles City?

For the government to prove a conspiracy, they must have proof of an agreement and an “overt act” in furtherance of the crime. Statements made by the conspirators may be used against them in conspiracy cases in ways that are not allowed in other types of cases.

State statutes discuss conspiracy in several different contexts.

Conspiracy to Commit a Felony

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-22 describes the applicable penalties when an individual conspires with one or more others to commit a felony offense. In most cases, this type of conspiracy is considered a Class 5 felony. The penalties vary somewhat depending on the penalties that apply to the crime the conspirators allegedly planned to commit.

If the maximum penalty for the planned crime is less than five years in prison, then those in the conspiracy may be penalized by no more than one year in jail. At the opposite end of the spectrum, if the conspirators planned to commit a capital felony, their conspiracy is treated as a Class 3 felony punishable by up to ten years of imprisonment.

Conspiracy to Commit Larceny or Trespass

Va. Code Ann.  §18.2-23 specifies that those conspiring to trespass on another’s land may be found guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. The penalties for this type of offense include a fine of no more than $500.

The statute also describes the penalty for individuals conspiring to commit grand larceny. Where the aggregate value of the property stolen is $500 or more, the conspiracy is considered a felony punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment.

Conspiracy to Commit Drug Crimes

The penalties assessed under Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-256 for conspiracy to commit certain drug offenses are in line with traditional conspiracy penalties. Those found guilty of a drug conspiracy may be penalized no less than the minimum or more than the maximum for the offense the conspirators planned to commit.

Work with an Experienced Charles City Conspiracy Attorney

Charles City conspiracy lawyers know that there are defenses that apply only in conspiracy cases. For instance, if an individual who was part of a conspiracy recants and takes some action to thwart commission of the crime, then that action is a defense to the conspiracy offense.

If you are facing conspiracy charges, an experienced defense attorney can provide advice and advocate on your behalf throughout the proceedings. To learn more about the benefits a dedicated legal counselor can provide in your situation, call for a free consultation today.