Manassas Conspiracy Lawyer
Conspiracy is a type of crime that features multiple people planning to carry out a future crime. The charge of conspiracy covers just the planning of a crime. Executing the crime itself is a different offense altogether. Each charge carries its own penalty, and a defendant may end up being punished for both.
Conspiracy charges can have a significant impact on a person’s liberty and livelihood. Luckily, if you have been charged with one or more counts of conspiracy, you can mount a smart, strategic defense with the help of a Manassas conspiracy lawyer. Reach out to a dedicated criminal defense attorney to get started.
Characteristics of a Conspiracy Charge
Conspiracy charges can be brought in either state or federal court. Prosecutors will have to prove that two or more persons reached an agreement or understanding to engage in some form of prohibited conduct. In many cases, the crime of conspiring is committed and complete once the agreement is reached.
However, in other cases, the law requires that at least one of the conspirators take some overt act or concrete step in an effort to further the criminal plan. A Manassas conspiracy lawyer can help analyze a particular case to determine whether the charges require evidence of an additional “overt step” or not.
In court, prosecutors will have to prove that an agreement or understanding was voluntarily reached. Typically, the two or more conspirators will not have to know every detail of the criminal plan but must have been apprised of at least a portion of the plan.
Once there is an agreement established, a person can actually be found culpable of the actions of the co-conspirators taken in furtherance of the planned crime. This is a heavy burden, as many times an individual is not aware of or is not in control of the actions of another person.
Possible Approaches to Defending Conspiracy
A skilled Manassas conspiracy attorney will be able to assist you when facing conspiracy charges. Some approaches used in the defense of conspiracy claims may include the following:
- Produce evidence that there was no actual agreement between parties to commit the crime
- Argue that the defendant did not actually agree to the conspiracy, but was pressured or coerced into planning the criminal activity
- Present facts that suggest the defendant is incompetent or intellectually compromised and thus could not knowingly enter into a meaningful agreement
- In cases where there is an overt act required, argue that at no time did any of the defendants take any kind of extra step in furtherance of the agreement
- Knowing that false accusations are common in criminal conspiracy cases, argue that the government’s claims are based on incorrect information from unreliable sources
- Provide the defense of “withdrawal,” where a person can show that he or she withdrew from the group, took steps to make the withdrawal clear, and refused to carry out the crime after making a plan
What to Do if You Have Been Charged with Conspiracy in Manassas
If you have been formally charged or you are anticipating a charge of conspiracy, immediately seek information and advice from a seasoned conspiracy defense attorney. You will want to carefully review the nature of the charges, explore all possible defenses, and review options or strategies for defending your case.
With many conspiracy cases, the government will bring charges against multiple people and will attempt to convince some of them to testify against the main instigators of the plan. Having a knowledgeable Manassas conspiracy lawyer on your side will help you navigate common legal pitfalls and make thoughtful strategic decisions as your case moves forward.