The federal government has a defined set of conspiracy laws. Many states, including New York, also have conspiracy laws. New York state conspiracy laws are dealt with by article 105 of the Penal Code. There are some differences between state conspiracy laws and federal conspiracy laws. However, both define conspiracy as pretty much the same thing.
In New York City, an individual is charged with conspiracy when they attempt to conduct a crime or when they make arrangements with multiple people to engage in criminal activities. In both federal and state conspiracy charges the prosecution must prove without question, or beyond a reasonable doubt, that at least one of the co-conspirators committed an “overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.”
In New York City, conspiracy is a very serious charge that can result in fines, imprisonments, and other penalties. Anyone who is charged with conspiracy in New York would be foolhardy to attempt to defend themselves against this charge on their own. It is best to discuss conspiracy charges with a criminal defense lawyer who has experience dealing with these things.
The simplest form of conspiracy is conspiracy in the sixth degree. This crime is considered a class B misdemeanor. The punishment for conspiracy in the sixth degree is jail time up to 90 days. Of course, there are additional aggravating circumstances that will increase the amount of time a person will need to spend in jail for a conspiracy charge.
For example, an individual may be charged with conspiracy in the first degree if their intent is to commit a felony and if they, as an individual over 18 years of age, conspired with a minor who is under 16 years of age to commit criminal activity. An individual who is convicted of conspiracy in the first degree may be facing a life prison sentence.
Another example of a first-degree conspiracy charge would include people planning together to murder someone. In order for a conspiracy charge to be made, the two individuals will not only need to plan to commit murder but at least one of the two would have to take steps towards the furtherance of this agreement.
The basic idea behind conspiracy laws in New York City is that the degree of seriousness of the conspiracy charge increases based on the seriousness of the circumstances surrounding the conspiracy. By this we mean that two individuals who conspired together to rob an ATM may face lesser charges than two individuals who conspired together to commit an act of terrorism. Of course, if the individuals involved in the conspiracy follow through with their plan and commit murder or commit robbery, in addition to the felony conspiracy charge, they would also be charged with the crime they committed.
US attorney offices around the country aggressively prosecute individuals who are accused of conspiracy. New York State is no different. In fact, in recent years prosecutors in New York are pursuing conspiracy charges in circumstances that they would not have pursued charges in years past. New York State attorneys are having a varied level of success in pursuing corruption charges. However, this does not minimize the aggressiveness with which prosecutors are pursuing this charge.
Conspiracy accusations have the potential to be life changing. Individuals who are charged with conspiracy could be facing years in prison. A conspiracy charge is not something that an individual can defend against on their own. There are complicated circumstances surrounding conspiracy charges. Also, there are nuanced details that determine if an individual is charged with a sixth degree conspiracy, or if they are charged with a more serious first-degree conspiracy charge.
Our legal team has more than three decades of combined experience providing criminal defense assistance to our clients. We are very familiar with the New York criminal system. Our firm was founded by ex-assistant district attorneys. This means that we have a detailed understanding of how prosecutors work. We know their tricks and their techniques, and we are equipped to build a defense that will combat anything prosecutors throw at us. We are aggressive attorneys who look out for our clients. If you or someone you love has been accused of conspiracy, contact us today and let us put our years of service to work for you.