Agreeing with others to commit a crime, even if that crime does not occur, can still result in conspiracy charges. For particularly severe offenses, conspiracy charges can be high-level felonies with lasting consequences.
Working with a Fort Oglethorpe conspiracy lawyer may allow you to avoid or minimize these potential ramifications. Taking steps to engage a criminal lawyer from the outset of your case could be to your advantage. Your legal counsel may investigate the circumstances that led to your criminal charges and raise any available defenses. Together, you could examine your options and determine the best course of action in your case.
A criminal conspiracy under Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-4-8 occurs when two or more people agree to commit a criminal offense, and one or more of them takes a significant step toward the completion of the offense.
Individuals can commit conspiracy to commit a crime even if they do not ultimately take a step toward or participate in furthering that crime. As long as one of the co-conspirators takes some action toward completing the crime, all the co-conspirators may face charges. Even if they agree to commit more than one crime, they can face only one conspiracy charge if the offenses are all part of the same agreement. A dedicated lawyer in the area could be instrumental in building a strong defense to conspiracy charges.
A conspiracy is a continuing series of actions that terminates when the individuals involved complete the objectives of their agreement or abandon it. O.C.G.A. § 16-4-9 presumes abandonment if an individual withdraws from the agreement before anyone takes an overt act to further the conspiracy. In some cases, an individual may use abandonment as a defense to conspiracy charges.
To use this defense, individuals must prove that they completely withdrew from the plan at a relatively early stage. Once a co-conspirator has taken a step toward carrying out the crime, the conspiracy is complete, and withdrawal or abandonment is no longer possible. A local attorney who is experienced in trying conspiracy cases may help individuals raise these and other applicable defenses to these criminal charges.
The penalties for conspiracy depend on whether the underlying crime is a felony or misdemeanor offense. The penalties for committing the underlying crime also affect the maximum sentences for conspiracy. If individuals are convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime that is punishable by death or life imprisonment, the potential prison sentence can range from one to ten years.
Criminal conspiracy to commit a felony offense carries the potential for a minimum of one year of incarceration. The maximum sentence for conspiracy to commit a felony is one-half of the maximum sentence and fine for the underlying crime.
If a person conspired to commit a misdemeanor, they would receive the same penalties as for the misdemeanor offense. As the penalties for misdemeanor conspiracy still can include up to one year in jail, individuals may want to contact nearby legal counsel for guidance.
If you are convicted of conspiracy, you could be facing high fines, significant terms of incarceration, and more. Engaging a Fort Oglethorpe conspiracy lawyer could be crucial to your ability to protect your rights throughout your criminal proceedings. Strong legal representation may assist you in creating a strong defense.
Having a qualified legal advocate working on your behalf could substantially impact the handling of your case. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation.