It would seem that if a crime does not take place, no criminal charges would, either. On the contrary, you can find yourself slapped with conspiracy charges, which indicate that at least two people have agreed to commit a crime. Courts might prosecute this offense as a misdemeanor or a felony, but in either case, you should be aware of several factors that can impact you and your defense.
According to the Missouri Revised Statutes, a person may be guilty of a crime simply by conspiring to commit it. Still, conspiracy charges often lack the evidential support that prosecution may possess in the event of an actual crime. Consider the following three facts if you are facing charges of conspiracy.
Agreement may be implicit
Throughout the legal language used to describe conspiracy, you will see over and over again references to the agreement between two or more parties. It is worth questioning what exactly constitutes an agreement, though. Of course, written or otherwise documented confirmation of the planning of a crime meets the criteria, but implicit agreements and involvement often do, too.
Intent must be unanimous
Intent is yet another important consideration when it comes to proving the guilt of accused conspirators. Because conspiracy charges rely on the presence of multiple defendants, it must be clear that all persons accused were unanimous in shared intent. Knowledge of an imminent crime is not sufficient, but agreement to participate in some way certainly is.
Consequences are serious
The consequences of a conspiracy conviction can be severe. Any criminal conviction can have serious repercussions, for the matter. You should consider whether a conviction will affect your job, your housing and your ability to pursue your goals in the future. All of these factors are important, and without a solid defense, you might see your future disappear before your eyes. A lawyer can help you fight charges and protect your future.