People typically think of a conspiracy as an elaborate plan to commit a crime. In the eyes of the law, it can be – and often is – much simpler.
A conspiracy is simply when at least two people agree to commit a crime and then take some action towards committing it. They don’t have to actually follow through with committing the crime to face conspiracy charges.
The agreement to engage in criminal activity together doesn’t even have to be explicitly stated. It can be implied. That’s where things can get tricky if law enforcement – and ultimately perhaps a jury — is determining whether someone was involved in a conspiracy.
Intent is a crucial element in a conspiracy charge. Did everyone involved in the “conspiracy” intend to commit a crime? Maybe one or more of them believed they weren’t actually going to go through with it. Conspiracy charges – particularly when no crime was actually carried out – can hinge on how seriously those involved discussed it and what steps they took toward making it a reality.
How conspiracy is charged
Conspiring to commit a crime can come with some serious penalties. Because conspiracy itself is a crime, it’s a separate charge from the crime itself. For example, you could be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and as well as robbery if the crime was carried out or attempted robbery if the robbery didn’t succeed.
Under Mississippi law, conspiracy can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. It depends on whether the crime being planned is a misdemeanor or felony.
When you have two or more people involved in potentially unlawful activity, it’s common for them to turn on one another when they’re apprehended by law enforcement. Even if you’re completely innocent, you could end up being portrayed as the mastermind of the plan. If you are facing conspiracy charges, it’s crucial to seek legal guidance to protect your rights and determine your best course of action.