If you were charged with criminal conspiracy, the claim should not be taken lightly. A criminal conspiracy conviction could result in thousands of dollars in fines and significant jail time. Trying to formulate a strong defense against such charges can feel overwhelming on your own.
Fortunately, a Mount Pleasant conspiracy lawyer might be able to provide the legal assistance you need. It is essential to make well-informed decisions regarding your case, and a seasoned criminal defense attorney could educate you on your rights.
What is Conspiracy in Law?
Conspiracy is defined under South Carolina Code §16-17-410 as an agreement between two or more people to accomplish an unlawful objective or lawful objective using unlawful means. As the statute points out, it takes two or more individuals to carry out a conspiracy. These two individuals must agree to commit the crime, and the agreement does not have to be in writing. The conspirators must have a mutual understanding that they are going to commit an unlawful act.
Is Intent Required for Conspiracy Charges?
Conspiracy is a specific intent crime. This means those accused of conspiracy must have intended to carry out the conspiracy. The law does not require that the conspirator knows particular details of the crime or everyone involved in the act, it only requires knowledge that a criminal act is planned. Additionally, a member of the conspiracy must commit an overt act to carry out the future crime.
If one of the accused was unaware that they were committing a crime, that person is unlikely to be prosecuted for conspiracy. For example, if four friends take a ride to another person’s house, three of them conspire to commit robbery, but the fourth was under the impression that they were going to a party and leaves, the fourth friend did not commit conspiracy.
Avoiding Penalties for Conspiracy Charges in Mount Pleasant
Those convicted of conspiracy may be fined up to five thousand dollars and imprisoned for up to five years. As such, those accused should work with a fraud lawyer in Mount Pleasant to help build a defense against these costly charges. The tactics one could employ to challenge a conspiracy charge depend on the particular facts of the situation, but there are several common defenses that a well-practiced local attorney may use.
Common Defenses Against Conspiracy Charges
Entrapment and failure to meet the burden of proof are both commonly used to defend against conspiracy charges. One of the more common defenses is abandonment, also called withdrawal. Abandonment means the defendant affirmatively communicated their withdrawal to the other co-conspirators. They must have taken positive action to withdrawal from their part in the conspiracy to prove they were not involved. Thinking about or intending to abandon a conspiracy is not enough.
Ways That a Mount Pleasant Conspiracy Attorney Could Help
The defense process could be challenging, especially on your own. A competent legal professional could relieve some of your stress and advance your interests at every step of the case.
A Mount Pleasant conspiracy lawyer could investigate the facts of your case, conduct in-depth research, and advocate on your behalf in court. Call now and schedule your consultation to start exploring your options.