NYC Conspiracy Crime Lawyer
Conspiracy charges in NY are valid when two or more parties make a clear agreement to engage in criminal activity. Under New York law, a person can be charged with the attempt to commit a crime, even if the crime itself is not completed. Understanding and defending against conspiracy crime charges can be particularly difficult if you don’t work with an experienced NYC conspiracy crime lawyer because such crimes are often considered incomplete, or inchoate crimes. Because of the complexity and ramifications of conspiracy laws in New York, it is very important to secure an NYC criminal defense lawyer who has experience with conspiracy crime cases.
Types of Conspiracy Charges in NY
New York state law has six degrees of conspiracy charges that it officially recognizes. Like many other crimes, the first-degree conspiracy charge is the most severe while the sixth-degree conspiracy charge is labeled as a misdemeanor. The severity of conspiracy charges in NY depends on who was involved and the type of conspiracy crime that was committed. An NYC conspiracy crime lawyer will review your specific case and advise you on the best approach and outcome.
Conspiracy in the first degree applies to defendants who are 18 or older and conspire with one or more minors under the age of 16 to commit a Class A felony. Given the severity of a first-degree conspiracy crime in NY, it can result in a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted, according to New York Penal Law §105.17.
Conspiracy in the second degree applies when two or more people age 18 or older conspire to commit a Class A felony. Second-degree conspiracy charges in NY can result in a sentence up to 25 years in prison, according to New York Penal Law §105.15
Conspiracy in the third degree applies to defendants who are at least 18 and conspire with one or more people under the age of 16 to commit a Class B or Class C felony. If convicted of third-degree conspiracy charges in NY, a sentence up to seven years in prison is likely, according to New York Penal Law §105.13.
Conspiracy in the fourth degree is the felony of money laundering when he or she agrees with one or more people to engage in said felony. Fourth-degree conspiracy charges in NY can lead to a sentence of up to 4 years if convicted, according to New York Penal Law §105.10.
Conspiracy in the fifth degree applies in a conspiracy to commit any felony that doesn’t incorporate any of the more severe charges mentioned above and no one under the age of 18 is involved in the conspiracy crime, or against someone over 18 conspiring with minors under the age of 16 to commit a misdemeanor. Fifth-degree conspiracy charges in NY can warrant up to one year in prison, according to New York Penal Law §105.05.
Conspiracy in the sixth degree is warranted when there is a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor where all conspirators are over the age of 18. Sixth-degree conspiracy charges in NY can result in a shorter sentence usually between 15 days and up to one year in prison in certain cases, according to New York Penal Law §105.00.
Defenses to Conspiracy Charges in NY
A conspiracy charge involves a lot of moving parts. It can be difficult to prove that two or more people shared the same intent and knowledge to commit a crime. It can also be difficult to show that an agreement existed, according to NYC conspiracy crime lawyer, Frederick Sosinsky. Some common defenses to conspiracy crime charges in NY include:
Lack of Agreement
Prosecutors do not have to show that the parties had a formal written agreement to commit a crime. However, they do need to show that an agreement existed. Your NYC conspiracy crime lawyer may help you argue that while you had met several people to discuss a common topic, there was never a plan to commit a crime or an agreement on how the crime would be committed.
Abandonment or Withdrawal
Even if there is an agreement to commit a crime, one of the parties to the conspiracy may still abandon the crime or withdraw from the act to avoid criminal prosecution. Generally, the defendant must abandon the crime or withdraw before the conspirators take an overt act toward the commission of the crime. Once the overt act is taken, it may be too late to withdraw. However, before that overt act is taken, a defendant can demonstrate abandonment or withdrawal such as by communicating the abandonment to other co-conspirators and taking the abandoning act in a timely fashion before the commission of the crime. The burden will be on the defendant to prove withdrawal or abandonment. You should be aware that a passive non-participation from the crime may not be enough to support abandonment.
Consult with an NYC Conspiracy Lawyer Today
Conspiracy charges in NY can often be serious. Even if you weren’t the one who committed the crime, if you knowingly participated in the plan and process of the crime, you may face the same charges as those who committed the crime. For example, if a drug crime was planned between you and others, but only executed by one, all who conspired may face the same charges as the person who executed the drug crime. Calling an NYC drug crime lawyer, in this case, may make sense, but speaking to a lawyer who understands conspiracy charges in NY is often recommended. It’s crucial to reach out to an experienced NYC conspiracy lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and start forming the best possible defense. Don’t wait, contact Frederick L. Sosinsky today.