To many individuals, conspiracy charges often seem somewhat exotic and perhaps complex. For many, they simply assume that to face conspiracy charges they would need to plot or plan with a large number of people and engage or plan to engage in a significant number of criminal acts. However, these assumptions and beliefs are often proven wrong. In reality, conspiracy charges do not require any more than two individuals and furthermore, conspiracy charges can apply to a broad array of alleged plans and acts.
If you are facing conspiracy charges in New Jersey, the experienced lawyers of the Law Office of John J. Zarych can fight for you. Attorney John Zarych has more than three decades of experience fighting for individuals charged with a crime. Mr. Zarych and the other criminal defense attorneys of the firm can put this experience to work for you. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation, call us at (609) 616-4956 today.
When Can I be Convicted of Conspiracy in New Jersey?
Criminal conspiracy charges can be brought against an individual in two main scenarios. The arrest preceding the charges must be based on probable cause. Probable cause involves more than a law enforcement officer’s hunch or suspicion that a crime has occurred or is in progress. Rather, the facts and circumstances present must be sufficient such that a reasonable prudent would reach this conclusion.
The first scenario where conspiracy charges could be brought in New Jersey involves a scenario where an individual makes an agreement with one or more other individuals. The agreement must concern an act that is considered a crime in the State of New Jersey. In the second scenario, the defendant must agree with at least one other person to help plan a crime in the state or to aid in its commission.
Along with either of these initial scenarios, the defendant must have the intent or purpose to promote or facilitate a crime. Finally, at least one individual involved in the conspiracy must take steps to further the conspiracy. This is known as an “overt act.” It is important to note that only one member of the conspiracy has to commit an overt act to further the conspiracy for all members to be subject to a criminal liability.
What Can Related Crimes Result in a Conspiracy Charge?
The types of related crimes that can result in conspiracy charges are extremely broad. Common scenarios where the may be charged can involve the conspiracy to manufacture, cultivate, sell, or distribute illegal drugs or narcotics. Conspiracy charges are also common in scenarios where fraud is alleged. The fraud may involve the use of the mail or electronic means such as phones or computers. Likewise, conspiracy charges are also commonly levied in matters involving tax fraud or other fraud allegedly committed against the state. The above lists only a few areas where conspiracy charges are common. Theoretically, conspiracy charges could be filed in many other circumstances.
What Defenses to Conspiracy Charges Exist?
It is important to realize that an array of defenses to conspiracy charges exist. Furthermore, it is also important to understand that the prosecutor may attempt to prove your guilt through both direct and circumstantial evidence. One of the more commonly raised defenses relating to conspiracy charges is that of renunciation. In short, it means that you abandoned the conspiracy and took steps to show this. Renunciation can serve as a valid defense even when the jury believes that the defendant did conspire to commit a particular crime.
To raise a valid renunciation defense one must satisfy three elements. First, the alleged conspirator must inform the police or other relevant law enforcement authority about the existence of the conspiracy and his or her involvement in the conspiracy. Second, the renunciation must result in the conspiracy to be stopped and no furtherance of the conspiracy to occur. Finally, the renunciation must be complete and voluntary in nature. The renunciation is not considered voluntary if the individual makes the statement because he or she learned that the police had acquired new information making detection or arrest more likely. Furthermore, renunciation is not voluntary if it is made because the individual is seeking to postpone the act or gain an advantage by transferring his or her criminal intent.
Work with an Aggressive and Strategic Atlantic City Defense Attorney
If you are facing conspiracy charges for alleged acts concerning drugs, fraud, or other criminal acts the defense lawyers of the Law Offices of John J. Zarych may be able to fight for you. We will fight to ensure that the prosecutor satisfies all burdens and proofs required. We will work strategically to prepare a defense based on the facts and circumstances unique to your matter. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at (609) 616-4956 today.