The many forms of criminal conspiracy
In U.S. criminal law, conspiracy is an umbrella term used to describe an agreement between two or more parties to commit an act at some point in the future that leads to a criminal outcome. The act itself does not need to be a criminal act, but to prove conspiracy, it must be shown that the individuals knew that the act was part of a plan intended to break the law.
As a Denver-based attorney specializing in criminal conspiracy, Christopher Braddock explains “Criminal conspiracy charges can occur in almost any situation, from drug crimes, to assault, robbery and murder, embezzlement, corruption or just about any other criminal activity. Gang activities are an especially well known situation where conspiracy can occur.”
Federal and state courts both prosecute conspiracy cases, and in all instances, it is considered a separate crime from the actual criminal act connected to it. Conspiracy exists any time the co-conspirators take steps to hide evidence of the crime.
Penalties for criminal conspiracy
“Penalties for conspiracy charges in Denver may seem less severe than the actual criminal act resulting from the conspiracy, but it does not mean they should be taken lightly by any means,” added Braddock.
In fact, in many cases, being convicted of conspiracy can have many of the same implications. For example, if a defendant commits conspiracy to commit a sexual offense and is convicted, they may need to register as a sex offender, just as if they committed the actual crime. Immigrants who are convicted of conspiracy charges, even if they didn’t commit any actual crime, can be deported or denied citizenship in the future.