New York City Conspiracy Lawyer
A conspiracy occurs when two or more people work together to cause a crime. There are six degrees of conspiracy charges; however, which of those charges applies depends on the type of crime related to the conspiracy and whether any of the alleged conspirators are under the age of 16.
Penalties for New York City conspiracy convictions range from a 15-day prison sentence to life imprisonment without parole. If you have been charged with conspiracy, contact a New York City conspiracy lawyer to review your situation, determine your legal defenses. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you make an informed decision about what is best for your situation.
Three Elements of a Conspiracy Charge
Under New York Penal Law § 105 et. seq, proving conspiracy charges requires these three elements:
- Two or more people must be involved: There is no upper limit on the number of people that can be charged in a single conspiracy, but there must be at least two
- There must be criminal intent: The alleged conspirators must have known that what they were planning was illegal and intended to do it anyway
- Overt action must be taken: At least one conspirator must have taken some sort of overt action to further the plan
The prosecution only needs testimony about the existence of a conspiracy from one person to bring charges against others, which can often result in one co-conspirator turning on the other. This is where having an experienced New York City conspiracy lawyer can help the most.
Conspiracy Charge Degrees
New York recognizes six degrees of conspiracy charges; the first degree being the most severe and the sixth being the least severe.
According to New York Penal Law § 105.17, conspiracy in the first degree applies to defendants who are at least 18 and conspire with one or more minors under age 16 to commit a Class A felony. It can result in a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.
According to New York Penal Law § 105.15, conspiracy in the second degree applies when two or more people age 18 or older conspire to commit a Class A felony. It can result in a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
According to New York Penal Law § 105.13, conspiracy in the third degree applies to defendants who are at least 18 and conspire with one or more people under age 16 to commit a Class B or C felony. It can result in a sentence of up to seven years in prison.
According to New York Penal Law § 105.10, conspiracy in the fourth degree applies to money laundering cases, conspiracies to commit class B or C felonies where everyone is over age 18, or conspiracy by someone over 18 with minors under 16 to commit a felony not covered by any of the more severe charges listed above. It can result in a sentence of up to four years in prison.
According to New York Penal Law § 105.05, conspiracy in the fifth degree applies in a conspiracy to commit any felony not covered by the more severe charges listed above where everyone is over 18, or against someone over 18 conspiring with minors under 16 to commit a misdemeanor. It can result in a sentence of up to one year in prison.
According to New York Penal Law § 105.00, conspiracy in the sixth degree applies in conspiracies to commit a misdemeanor where all conspirators are over 18. It can result in a sentence of between 15 days and one year in prison.
First through fourth-degree conspiracy are considered felonies, while fifth and sixth-degree conspiracy charges are considered misdemeanors.
Contacting a New York City Conspiracy Attorney
If you have been charged with any conspiracy offense, contact a New York conspiracy lawyer for the counsel you need to fight the charges against you. Conspiracy charges are complex and sentencing for the underlying crime can often significantly increase when accompanied by conspiracy charges. An experienced conspiracy attorney can ensure that you utilize the best legal defenses at your disposal.