Defending Against Conspiracy Charges
Sometimes, people are arrested and charged even if the illegal act never happened. In other words, sometimes, people are arrested and charged with conspiring to commit a crime. For example, a person can be arrested for conspiring to commit robbery even if the actual robbery never occurred. If the robbery happened, a person could be charged with conspiracy and robbery. Depending on the specific circumstances, conspiracy charges can fall under state or federal jurisdiction. But regardless of whether you are facing conspiracy charges on the state or federal level, you should hire a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A skilled defense attorney can assist you in developing a strong defense strategy that can help you fight your charges.
Defenses for Conspiracy Charges
If you are facing conspiracy charges, you should know that the defense strategy your criminal defense attorney will develop depends entirely on your case’s specifics. That said, the following are some common defenses used to fight conspiracy charges:
You Did Not Agree To Participate
For the prosecution to convict you of conspiracy, it must prove that you agreed to commit the crime. This is the most vital element that the prosecution must prove. If you and the other alleged co-conspirator/s do not admit that you agreed to commit a crime and the court does not find other evidence showing you and the other alleged co-conspirator/s agreed to commit the crime, you cannot be convicted.
It is also a defense that you did not know the other co-conspirator/s planned on committing the crime. If you spoke about committing a crime in a hypothetical situation, and you can prove this, your attorney can use this as a defense.
You Abandoned the Plan
Another defense available in conspiracy cases is that you backed out of the plan. However, this defense is only viable if you withdrew from the conspiracy before it was completed. Also, you must have clearly communicated your withdrawal to the other co-conspirator/s and taken steps to show that you meant your words. If, for instance, you continued communicating with the co-conspirator/s or helping them after you backed out of the plan, this might prevent you from using the defense of abandonment.
The defense of entrapment can be raised if you were persuaded by law enforcement officers to conspire to commit a crime. Specifically, you can use entrapment as a defense in your conspiracy case if;
- the idea for the conspiracy originated from a law enforcement officer, and
- the officer persuaded you to take part in the conspiracy, and
- before you were persuaded, you did not intend to commit the crime.
You Believed You Were Acting Legally
Lastly, your attorney can help you avoid being convicted of conspiracy by proving that you believed your actions were legal. However, there are very few instances when this defense would apply. Usually, this defense is useful when someone is charged with conspiring to commit an obscure crime.
Contact an NYC Criminal Attorney
If you are facing conspiracy charges, our skilled and dedicated NYC criminal attorney, Mark I. Cohen, can assist you in developing a strong defense strategy that can help you fight your charges. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.