Fort Worth Conspiracy Lawyer
One of the most complicated criminal charges you can face is criminal conspiracy. In Texas, not only can you be charged for committing a crime, you can be charged with conspiracy to commit that crime as well. Even if the offense was not committed, you can still face criminal charges of conspiracy if you allegedly agreed to do it and took steps to see the conduct through.
Defending against a conspiracy charge is essential because a conviction can come with steep fines and a jail sentence. With a Fort Worth conspiracy lawyer to advocate on your behalf, the odds of beating the charges can increase substantially. Throughout each step of the legal process, a proactive defense attorney can work to build a strong defense to fight the allegations against you.
The Crime of Conspiracy in Fort Worth
Conspiracy is an example of an inchoate offense. An inchoate offense, also known as an incomplete crime, is the crime of preparing to commit another crime or helping in its completion.
Under Texas Penal Code § 15.02, an individual can be convicted on conspiracy if they agree to commit a felony with someone else, followed by an overt act in furtherance of the agreement. Importantly, that overt act does not have to be done by any particular person. If three people agree to rob a bank, they can all face conspiracy charges as soon as one of them acts to carry out the plot.
In the state of Texas, conspiracy to commit a particular crime is one degree lower than the underlying offense. This means, the penalty for conspiracy depends on the original crime that was either committed or planned. Therefore, if the crime that was planned was a second-degree felony, then conspiracy to commit that crime would be a third-degree felony.
Common Defenses to a Charge of Conspiracy
The steep penalties for a conspiracy charge make it important to consult a Fort Worth conspiracy lawyer. With the help of an attorney, effective legal defenses can be raised to combat the allegations.
Abandonment and Withdrawal
One way to defend against a charge of conspiracy is to abandon the crime and withdraw from the conspiracy. To succeed with an abandonment and withdrawal defense, however, the alleged conspirator has to explicitly communicate their desertion to the other co-conspirators, and then take a clear action of leaving the company.
Not only does abandonment have to be done before the completion of the underlying criminal act, it also has to be complete. Any further assistance to the conspiracy can doom an abandonment defense.
If a law enforcement officer actively persuades someone to commit a crime, their efforts can amount to entrapment. This can be a strong defense to a conspiracy charge in some cases where a defendant had no intention or even an interest in committing a particular crime until the police officer gave them the idea.
How a Fort Worth Conspiracy Attorney Can Help
If you have been accused of conspiracy to commit a crime, the charges can be confusing and the penalties dire. By working with a Fort Worth conspiracy lawyer who can help you defend against the charges you are facing, you can take control of the situation and invoke your rights.
Consulting a conspiracy attorney is not just for those who have already been arrested and accused of a crime. It is also for those who realize they have gotten too far into potentially criminal conduct and want to withdraw from it in a way that protects their safety and interests. Talking to a Fort Worth conspiracy lawyer who understands the laws regarding conspiracy can make a huge difference. Call today for a consultation.