Bronx Conspiracy Lawyer
Criminal conspiracy can be one of the most difficult criminal charges under New York Penal Law to understand. It is one of the few criminal charges where a court can accuse someone, try them, and convict them, without the person actually committing a criminal act. This is because the mere intention of committing a crime with another person is illegal. Because of this complex legal theory, many individuals who are facing these charges are unsure what their options are. Further complicating matters, New York law has six levels of conspiracy charges, each with their own elements and potential penalties.
No matter the level of charges you may be facing, a Bronx conspiracy lawyer could help. A skilled attorney from the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman could help you better understand the law and develop a defense strategy designed to protect your rights and freedoms in court.
How Does the Law Define Conspiracy?
The core concept behind criminal conspiracy charges can be somewhat difficult to understand. New York Penal Law §105.00 states that a conspiracy is anytime two or more people agree to perform a criminal act. Further, New York Penal Law §105.20 states that no person can be convicted of a conspiracy charge unless they make an overt act toward the committing of that crime.
These statutes combine to allow prosecutors to charge people with this crime whenever they can allege that another person has taken a concrete step to commit a crime in concert with at least one other person. This can include making a plan, gathering weapons, or scoping out a target. Conspiracy is a criminal charge unto itself, but it often used in conjunction with other charges that allege the actual carrying out of the crime.
The Classes of Conspiracy Charges
New York Penal Law names six classes of conspiracy that carry varying potential penalties for conviction. The core version of the statute is a catch-all for any instance of conspiracy. It can apply to any allegation of this crime and is known as conspiracy in the sixth degree, a class B misdemeanor.
However, the higher levels of conspiracy apply when a defendant allegedly conspired to commit a felony or conspired with a person under the age of 16 while being over the age of 18. The statutes can be complicated but, in general, the more serious the crime that someone agrees to commit, the more serious the conspiracy charge. More severe charges also apply if a person conspires with a minor child.
The penalties for a conviction vary. The most minor versions are class B misdemeanors where a maximum jail term of three months may apply. The most serious version, conspiracy in the first degree under New York Penal Law §105.17, is a class A-1 felony. This applies when someone conspires to commit a class A felony, such as murder or drug trafficking. A lawyer in the Bronx could help someone prepare a defense depending on the conspiracy charges they are facing.
What Happens When a Person Backs Out of Committing a Crime?
Once two or more people agree to commit a crime, they can be charged with criminal offense. However, it is possible for a person to back out of a conspiracy before the criminal act takes place, and potentially mitigate the situation. The most effective way to do this is to go to the police and provide information that stops the crime. In addition, it may help a defendant’s case if they can argue that they made active efforts to stop the other members of the criminal plan. A lawyer in the Bronx could help someone come forward to the police if they could face conspiracy charges.
How Might the Actions of One Member of a Conspiracy Affect the Others?
Conspiracy itself is a criminal offense, even if the criminal act never occurs. In addition, in situations where the criminal act does occur, all members of the illegal act share blame for that act. For instance, if two people may agree to rob a bank. Person A takes a gun into the bank and demands money. Person B waits in the car to drive away. Person A is certainly guilty of robbery. However, Person B is also guilty since they performed an act that helped to further the crime. A Bronx attorney could provide more information about how conspiracies can link people to crimes that they did not personally commit.
A Bronx Conspiracy Attorney is Ready to Help
Allegations of conspiracy are complicated cases. They are the rare instances where the police can arrest you despite you not actually committing a criminal act. The mere collaboration between two people can be illegal if they take concrete steps toward committing a crime. Defending against these charges can be difficult, but a Bronx conspiracy lawyer is ready to fight for you. They could work to examine the alleged conduct and they could utilize their knowledge of New York Penal Law to formulate a defense against the charges. Contact an attorney today to schedule a consultation.