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Criminal conspiracies: What you need to know

If you're accused of conspiracy, it's vital that you understand exactly what that means. By definition, a criminal conspiracy is when at least two people commit a crime together. It doesn't matter what crime it is. At that point, some action must be taken to actually commit the crime for it to be considered a conspiracy.

The prosecution proves conspiracy by showing that you knew and understood the plan to break the law. For example, if you and your two friends decide that you want to bring drugs into the country from Mexico, create a plan to do so and attempt to complete the plan as designed, that could lead to charges for a criminal conspiracy.

One catch that the prosecution could run into is proving that you agreed to commit a crime. For instance, in the above case, if you didn't know that your friend put drugs in your suitcase, then you didn't necessarily agree to help bring drugs into the United States. You aren't automatically a co-conspirator just because you're present or involved in a crime, although it doesn't look good initially.

If the prosecution is able to prove that you were part of a criminal conspiracy, you could face serious penalties such as high fines, jail time or others. If you are sentenced to a felony, it's possible you could face a mandatory minimum sentence. Your attorney can help you better understand what penalties you face and how to address them with a strong defense. A good defense could help you avoid at least some of the penalties you currently face.

Source: FindLaw, "Conspiracy," accessed Dec. 06, 2017

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