DC Conspiracy Lawyer

Conspiracy under DC law is defined as an agreement to commit a crime between two or more people. Depending on the underlying crime, an individual charged with conspiracy could face serious penalties including fines and jail time.

Because prosecutors treat conspiracy charges seriously, it is important to retain an experienced DC conspiracy lawyer. A hardworking defense attorney understands what the prosecution must prove in your case, and they could help you build an effective defense. Call today for a consultation.

Elements of a Conspiracy Charge

When an individual is charged with conspiracy, the prosecutors allege that the person was part of an agreement to commit a crime, and at least one person in the agreement committed an act to further the conspiracy, which is referred to as an overt act. The government also needs to prove that the individual being charged with conspiracy intentionally joined into that agreement as opposed to accidentally joining or not realizing they were a part of an agreement.

Conspiracy to commit a crime is a separate offense from the underlying crime alleged. A person can be charged with the completion of a crime and conspiracy to complete that crime. A person might also be charged with conspiracy to commit a crime even if the underlying crime was never completed.

The prosecutors do not need to prove that the crime was completed and do not need to prove all of the members of the agreement. It is not uncommon for prosecutors charging conspiracy cases to specify that some members of the conspiracy may not be known to them.

Common Conspiracy Cases

Any crime could involve accusations of conspiracy. It is not uncommon for prosecutors to charge conspiracy along with drug trafficking allegations and fraud cases in which more than one person is alleged to be involved. Even something like robbery could involve more than one person entering into an agreement to commit a robbery of a person or business.

It is also not uncommon for prosecutors to charge conspiracy in undercover sting operations. A person may be accused of entering into an agreement to commit a crime in which the other member of the agreement is an undercover police officer. The first person could still be charged with conspiracy even if the other person involved has no intention of actually committing that crime.

Penalties for Conspiracy

If a person is convicted of conspiracy to commit a criminal offense, the penalties they face depend on the type of crime they are alleged to have conspired to commit. If the underlying crime the person is accused of conspiring to commit carries a maximum penalty of less than five years, the maximum penalty for the conspiracy is the same as the maximum penalty for the offense itself. For example, if a person is accused of conspiracy to commit a crime that carries a maximum penalty of three years, the conspiracy charge cannot be any more than a maximum penalty of three years.

Crimes of Violence

For conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, which is defined in a specific list of offenses under the DC Code, a person convicted of that conspiracy can be imprisoned for up to 15 years or the maximum level of imprisonment for the underlying offense, whichever one is less. For example, if a specific crime of violence carries a maximum penalty of 30 years and a person is charged with conspiracy to commit that crime of violence, the maximum penalty is the lesser of 15 years or 30 years. In that case, it would be 15 years.

If the crime of violence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, the maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit that crime of violence is 10 years. The penalties for conspiracy to commit crimes can be complicated, so it is important to discuss a case with a DC conspiracy lawyer to understand the maximum penalties.

Contacting a Skilled DC Conspiracy Attorney

If you were charged with conspiracy, contact a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible. A conspiracy charge can carry serious penalties including jail time, and prosecutors will often fight tirelessly for the maximum penalties. A DC conspiracy lawyer could help you fight for a favorable outcome to your case.