Conspiracy is one of the more complicated crimes in Texas and often those who have been arrested and charged are left wondering what they have been accused of doing.
The crime involves two or more individuals who take part in a concerted criminal activity which we set out in more detail here.
The Offense falls under 15.02 of the Texas Penal Code.
You can be convicted of conspiracy if you:
1 – Agree with another person that you will engage in criminal conduct;
2 – You perform an “overt act” to further that agreement. An agreement can be inferred from the acts of the parties.
Flimsy Defenses To Conspiracy
The statute says it’s no defense if.
1 – One of more of the alleged conspirators does not commit the act;
2 – One of more of the co-conspirators is acquitted, as long as two or more have not been;
3 – One or more of the co-conspirators was not convicted or prosecuted, was convicted of a different crime or is immune from prosecution.
4 – The person who was supposed to commit the crime was legally incapable of doing so.
5 – The offense was committed.
Under Texas law, a conspiracy offense is “one category lower than the most serious felony that is the object of the conspiracy.”
In other words, the penalty for a conspiracy crime depends on the underlying crime that was committed or was being planned.
Sentences for conspiracy crimes are higher if they are dealt with in the federal courts. Typically, federal drug offenses entail prison terms up to five years and fines up to $250,000.
Offenses of conspiracy to defraud the United States are set out under 18 U.S.C. § 371.
It is sufficient for the federal government to prove that the accused knew the statements were false or fraudulent when made. The government does not have to prove that statements ultimately led to any actual loss to the government of any property or funds.
These crimes can involve many shades of gray. If you are accused of a robbery or a murder, it’s a black and white crime and the prosecution will attempt to prove you committed it. However, an agreement to commit a crime may not be overt but inferred. A nuance can be the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.
For this reason, it’s very important to hire an experienced Austin conspiracy defense lawyer. We will find out if the prosecution has overlooked or wants to conceal an important fact. Call us today for a consultation at (512) 399-2311.