Rockland County Conspiracy Lawyer
Conspiracy charges are often serious, especially if they involve underlying crimes such as racketeering or money laundering. Many conspiracy cases also include numerous defendants, which complicates matters and makes finding qualified legal representation that much more important.
If you have been accused of any conspiracy charge, get in touch with a Rockland County conspiracy lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced defense attorney is familiar with different kinds of conspiracy cases and could review your specific situation and work with you to plan a defense that protects your rights. Their goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Conspiracy Laws in Rockland County
Generally, a conspiracy occurs when one or more individuals agree to commit a crime and take steps to commit that crime. In New York, a person may not be convicted of conspiracy unless they or one of their conspirators have taken some overt act to further the conspiracy, according to New York Penal Law §105.20. For example, if one or more people are conspiring to rob another individual, an overt act could include buying a weapon or following the individual.
There are six possible degrees of conspiracy in New York. The most basic form of conspiracy, set forth in New York Penal Law §105.00, is sixth-degree conspiracy. This occurs when someone intends to commit a crime and agrees with one or more other people to commit that crime. Sixth-degree conspiracy is a misdemeanor. Fifth-degree conspiracy is also a misdemeanor, and occurs when an individual conspires to commit a felony, according to New York Penal Law §105.05.
If a person conspires to commit more serious felonies, they may be charged with fourth-, third-, or second-degree conspiracy, depending on the specific felony. All of these degrees of conspiracies are themselves felonies. Under New York Penal Law §105.17, first-degree conspiracy only occurs if a person conspires to commit a serious (class A) felony with one or more person under 16 years of age. Those with questions on conspiracy degrees and how their specific case may be charged should contact a Rockland County conspiracy lawyer for further information.
Defenses to These Allegations
Depending on the details of their specific case, a person may have different defenses available to them. A Rockland County conspiracy attorney could help someone facing charges decide on the best defense for their situation.
Since conspiracy requires both an intent to commit a crime and an agreement to commit that crime, a person charged with conspiracy may be able to assert the following defenses:
- No agreement with any other individual
- No intent to commit a crime
- No overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy
In New York, however, the guilt of a person’s co-conspirators is not a defense. Under New York Penal Law §105.30, a person may not defend themselves against a conspiracy charge by claiming that one or more of their conspirators were innocent of the conspiracy. For a complete evaluation of possible defenses, those charged with conspiracy should contact a Rockland County conspiracy attorney as soon as possible.
Can Someone Avoid Liability for a Conspiracy?
With many criminal offenses, it is possible for a person to avoid criminal liability by abandoning the plot before the crime is perpetrated. However, conspiracy is one of the few offenses where abandonment may not eliminate that liability entirely. This is because forming a plan to commit a crime is central to the offense of conspiracy. Once a person commits an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, they are no longer able to abandon the plot and avoid criminal liability. However, abandoning a conspiracy may result in avoiding liability for the underlying crime.
Does an Overt Act in Furtherance of a Conspiracy Have to be a Criminal Act?
There is no requirement that the overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy is a criminal act. In fact, it is typically not a criminal act on its own. Because of this, prosecutors can use evidence of an otherwise lawful activity to support their case. Examples of overt acts that are not inherently illegal buy may be considered furtherance of a conspiracy include buying a ski mask, renting a getaway car, or setting up a bank account.
Call a Rockland County Conspiracy Attorney
Conspiracy cases are often complex, involving many facts, dates, and allegations. Many people facing these allegations have little experience defending themselves against such accusations. As a result, they can feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do.
A Rockland County conspiracy lawyer is standing by to help. They could sit down with you and make sure they understand your case. Then, they could conduct any necessary investigations to help ensure they obtain as much evidence as possible that helps your case. For help with your conspiracy case, make sure you call an attorney today.