Getting accused of conspiracy is a major allegation. This only happens when the authorities believe that two or more people came together and agreed to participate in a crime of some form. You should know that you don’t actually have to commit a crime for conspiracy charges to hold true; you just need to take an action toward its completion.
The prosecution will need to show that you knew about the plan. They will also have to show that you intended to break the law by committing a crime. If the prosecution can do that, then there is a potential for it to win the case.
Intent is an essential element in a conspiracy case. The court needs to consider factors such as your:
- Mental health
- Intent to commit a crime knowingly
- Intent to become involved with others to commit a crime
For example, if you knew about a friend who was going to hack into a government’s computer system but did nothing, you likely wouldn’t be considered a part of the conspiracy. That doesn’t mean you can’t be accused of other charges, but it does mean that you’re less likely to be charged with conspiracy or to have it hold up in court.
Federal conspiracy charges can be penalized with up to five years in prison in harsh fines. Depending on the situation, a misdemeanor conspiracy charge could have less significant implications. Regardless, it is important that you have an opportunity to review your case with your attorney. They’ll be able to talk to you about what the prosecution needs to get a conviction and what you can do to protect yourself against one if you go to court.