Gwinnett County Conspiracy Lawyer
While the word “conspiracy” might generate thoughts of popular crime novels and vast government cover-ups, conspiracy is a frequently charged crime with potentially severe penalties. Conspiracy charges can apply to both misdemeanor and felony crimes, although they may be more common in a felony prosecution.
Considering the harsh consequences associated with a conspiracy charge, you should feel the need to contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. With the help of a Gwinnett County conspiracy lawyer, you may be able to mitigate the charges made against you.
What is Conspiracy in Gwinnett County?
A conspiracy under the Official Code of Georgia § 16-4-8 occurs when two or more individuals agree to commit a crime. Although prosecutors must have evidence that the individuals collectively decided to commit a crime, there is no requirement that the agreement needed to be written down via a signed contract or something similar to that nature. There must be evidence that two or more people reached a common understanding that they intend to violate the law in some way.
However, a conspiracy goes beyond talking about or planning a crime. At least one of the co-conspirators must take some significant step toward the completion of the offense for the individuals to face conspiracy charges. Evidence supporting an affirmative act in furtherance of the crime might include:
- Purchasing equipment or materials to manufacture methamphetamine or grow marijuana
- Setting up a drug transaction and going to an agreed-upon location to deliver the drugs
- Stealing the key to a building to enter a business illegally and take items
Co-conspirators may be charged with a conspiracy offense if the crime occurred. These charges may result even if the persons did not participate in the crime. The only restriction is that individuals cannot face charges for both a conspiracy to commit a crime and the underlying crime.
Statutory Defense to Conspiracy Charges
State law provides for at least one statutory defense to conspiracy. Under O.C.G.A. § 16-4-9, if co-conspirators could prove that they canceled their agreement to commit the crime, they may escape liability. However, they must vacate the deal before any co-conspirator takes an obvious step to carry out the crime.
To utilize this defense, co-conspirators must show that they completely withdrew from the conspiracy. Since the withdrawal must occur before an overt act toward the commission of the crime occurs, the withdrawal should occur in the early stages of the planification of a crime.
Common Penalties for Conspiracy
The minimum sentence for a felony conspiracy conviction is one year of incarceration. The maximum potential sentence varies according to the penalties for the underlying crime that was the subject of the conspiracy. For a conspiracy conviction, the maximum sentence of incarceration can be no more than one-half the maximum sentence for the crime.
Individuals convicted of felony conspiracy can face a fine that is no more than one-half the maximum fine for the underlying crime. A felony conspiracy conviction can result in a fine, incarceration, or both.
If the conspiracy relates to a misdemeanor offense, individuals may face one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. A Gwinnett County conspiracy lawyer may be able to explain the elaborate scheme of potential penalties for a criminal conspiracy conviction.
Call a Gwinnett County Conspiracy Attorney for Advice
Conspiracy charges can apply to a wide range of criminal offenses. The penalties can be severe, even if you do not commit the underlying criminal offense. Avoiding a conspiracy conviction can be crucial to protecting your future. A felony conspiracy conviction may be challenging to overcome in the future as you seek to better yourself through employment and education.
As a result, you may need someone to defend you against these charges and protect your rights throughout the criminal proceedings. A Gwinnett county conspiracy lawyer may be able to help you achieve a favorable result.