Bethesda Conspiracy Lawyer
Like other states, Maryland considers making and pursuing a plan to commit a criminal act to be just as unlawful—and usually just as harshly punished—as actually committing the crime in question. Depending on the circumstances, you may face criminal charges for conspiracy even if you were only to play a small role in the alleged plan and did not actually take any action in furtherance of the plan yourself.
If you have been accused of planning any criminal act alongside other people, speaking with a Bethesda conspiracy lawyer about your legal options should be your number one priority. These types of cases can be incredibly complex and difficult to achieve favorable results from. A qualified defense attorney’s guidance could make all the difference in achieving the best possible legal outcome.
What Counts as Criminal Conspiracy?
Unlike virtually all other criminal offenses, the Maryland Code does not provide an in-depth definition of what constitutes “conspiracy” to commit a criminal offense. Instead, courts generally provide a standardized description of this act through the Maryland Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions provided to jury members before they deliberate on finding a defendant guilty of conspiracy.
These instructions define a conspiracy as an agreement between at least two people to commit a criminal offense together. This can include each party actively participating to roughly the same degree in the crime or playing different contributing roles. To convict someone of conspiracy in Maryland, the prosecution must establish that the defendant entered into an agreement with one or more other people to commit a crime and that the defendant had genuine intent to commit the crime in question. In these circumstances, genuine intent means without coercion or misunderstanding about the nature of the agreement.
Notably, Maryland differs from many other states in that it does not require any member of an agreement to perform an overt act in furtherance of the plan for every member to potentially face prosecution for conspiracy. A Bethesda attorney could explain in more detail how conspiracy charges work in practice and what defense strategies might suit a particular situation.
Possible Penalties for a Conspiracy Conviction
As per Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 1-202, the sanctions imposed upon someone convicted of conspiracy may not exceed the maximum penalties attached to the offense the party conspired to commit. However, this also means that a conviction for conspiracy can be punished up to the maximum level of severity that a conviction for the actual offense itself might have allowed for.
Furthermore, if someone has a prior conviction for an offense like drug distribution, a conviction for conspiracy to commit that same offense again could be treated as a second or subsequent conviction for the actual offense. Once again, a trusted attorney in Bethesda could provide further guidance about the implications of a particular conspiracy allegation.
Contact a Bethesda Conspiracy Attorney Today
Even if you have no past convictions or arrests for criminal charges, an accusation that you conspired to commit a crime alongside other people could have life-altering repercussions. Protecting your rights and proactively pursuing a positive final resolution in a situation like this is not something anyone should expect to achieve without support from experienced legal representation.
The help you need to obtain the best possible case result is available from a knowledgeable Bethesda conspiracy lawyer. Call today to learn more.