Conspiracy occurs when you agree with someone else to commit a crime. Conspiracy can involve or relate to a number of different kinds of crimes in Michigan. You need only be found to have knowingly agreed to commit that crime to be guilty of that conspiracy. However, there are specific rules and requirements that Michigan prosecutors must follow to obtain a conspiracy conviction successfully.
Skilled Michigan Criminal Defense Representation
If you have been charged with a crime in Michigan, you know how confusing and challenging dealing with those charges can be. If you do not protect your rights and interests while in court, you could be convicted and face potentially severe and long-lasting consequences. To ensure that you are adequately represented, it is vital that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney understands the law, process, and tactics prosecutors use to help you put on the best defense possible. George Law criminal defense attorneys have an extensive criminal defense track record and are ready to represent you. To learn more or schedule your free initial case consultation, call 248-278-7652 or visit our website today.
As discussed above, conspiracy occurs when two or more people agree to commit a crime. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may face both state and federal conspiracy charges. The state and federal governments can charge and convict you of these crimes because they are separate forms of government, each with its own powers.
To be convicted of conspiracy in Michigan under Michigan State law, the following must occur:
- You and one or more people knowingly agreed to commit a crime.
- You specifically intended to commit or help commit that crime.
Conspiracy only relates to the act of agreeing to commit a crime, not the commission of the crime. As long as an agreement was made between two people intending to commit a crime, you have committed conspiracy. Michigan law requires no more than agreement and a plan to satisfy conspiracy elements.
The requirements at the federal level for proving conspiracy are essentially the same. However, in federal court, the prosecutor must prove that at least one of the conspirators involved in the conspiracy completed an “overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.” This means that you or one of your co-conspirators must have done more than agree and plan to commit a crime. Some other act must have been taken to complete the crime. As with Michigan law, you are not required to have successfully completed the crime, only taken some action to complete the crime.
The penalties for conspiracy can be particularly severe. The penalties also vary widely depending on the underlying crime you agree with another person to commit. Michigan law charges conspiracy harshly because the law considers that the more people commit a crime together, the more likely it is to be executed. It is important to note that in many cases, conspiracy charges will still occur even if the crime you agreed with another to commit is completed. This means that even if you carry out the crime you agreed upon, you may still be appropriately convicted of conspiracy and the underlying crime and serve sentences for both offenses.
State Conspiracy Penalties
State conspiracy penalties vary based on the agreed-upon crime.
Penalties Of One Year Or More In Jail
If the crime you plan to commit has a penalty of one year in jail or more, the penalty will be the same as for the crime you plan to execute. In addition, you may also face an additional $10,000 fine. For example, consider stealing a car. Convictions for stealing a vehicle are felonies for which you can spend up five years in prison if convicted. If you and one or more people agreed to steal a car, your conspiracy charge would carry a five-year penalty.
Penalties Of Less Than One Year In Jail
If the crime you planned to commit has a penalty of less than one year, the sentence for conspiracy to commit that crime is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Conspiracy To Commit A Legal Act In An Illegal Manner
Conspiracy to commit an illegal act legally means that the underlying action you intend to achieve is legal; however, the means you use to commit legal actions are not. A prime example is using counterfeit money to perform a purchase. For example, a couple agrees to buy a car and enter all necessary agreements. However, to pay for the vehicle, they use counterfeit money. The two people have performed a legal act, but to accomplish that act, they applied illegal means.
If you are convicted of conspiring to commit a legal act illegally, you may face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Federal Conspiracy Penalties
The penalties for federal conspiracy vary widely, depending on the particular crime you intended to commit. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the elements and penalties involved with your case.
Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney In Michigan
If you were charged with conspiracy, contact George Law criminal defense attorneys, who are ready to represent you in your conspiracy case. To learn more or schedule your free initial case consultation, call 248-278-7652 or visit our website today.