If you jointly plan with one or more individuals to commit an unlawful act, you can be charged with a criminal offense even if you did not carry through with the intended unlawful act. This is known as a criminal conspiracy – a serious crime with potentially far-reaching consequences.
Here are some key points about criminal conspiracy and what constitutes this offense.
The elements of criminal conspiracy
Criminal conspiracy is more than knowing that a crime will occur. There must be an agreement between two or more individuals to break the law. In addition, the intent to commit the crime must be furthered by an overt act or step to follow through with the plan.
For example, if individuals conspire to manufacture illegal drugs and begin to gather the necessary equipment and ingredients (the overt act), they could be charged with conspiracy. They need not have actually manufactured the drugs for the criminal conspiracy charges to stand.
The potential penalties of a criminal conspiracy conviction
Louisiana law is pretty harsh on criminal conspirators. While it all depends on the nature of the underlying crime, you could face severe legal penalties if convicted of criminal conspiracy. You may be looking at half the prison sentence of the contemplated offense. Other factors like your criminal history, the specific details of the conspiracy and the harm that was intended or caused can also weigh in the sentence.
It’s essential to remember that you have the right to legal defense if you are accused of criminal conspiracy. You may argue that you withdrew from the conspiracy, lacked intent or were not part of a genuine agreement. Seeking qualified representation and guidance can help build a strong defense strategy and protect your interests.