Columbia Conspiracy Lawyer

Facing criminal charges for an offense you did not actually commit can make for a uniquely complicated trip through the criminal justice system. Understanding how state law defines conspiracy and the potential consequences of such a charge could be crucial not only to defending yourself effectively in court, but also to preserving your future prospects after your trial concludes.

A Columbia conspiracy lawyer could provide irreplaceable assistance throughout every stage of the proceedings against you, from the initial investigation into your alleged actions to the final verdict. Even if your case ends with a guilty finding, assistance from a dedicated defense attorney could prove essential to mitigating the impact that this type of conviction has on the rest of your life.

Defining Criminal Conspiracy

According to South Carolina Code of Laws §16-17-410, conspiracy entails two or more people coming together for the express purpose of accomplishing an unlawful act. Once there is an agreement established—whether written, verbal, or simply implied or inferred—between two or more people to commit a criminal act, and at least one party takes some action on that plan, all involved parties have committed the crime of conspiracy.

Importantly, conspiring to commit a crime and attempting to commit a crime are two different things in the state of South Carolina. While neither involves the proposed criminal act successfully occurring, the latter specifically requires the involved parties to act on their plan—for example, by actually breaking into a building to burglarize it, or discharging a firearm in an attempt to murder someone. As a seasoned attorney could further explain, a Columbia resident could be arrested for and convicted of conspiracy based solely on the existence of a plan to commit a crime with one or more other people, even if no one involved actually committed the offense in question.

Potential Penalties from a Conviction for Conspiracy

Under SC Code §16-17-410, conspiracy to commit a crime is a felony offense punishable by up to five years in prison plus a maximum $5,000 fine. Importantly, though, the penalties imposed against a person convicted of conspiracy cannot be greater than those associated with the criminal offense at the center of said conspiracy.

It is also worth noting that, since conspiracy is considered a distinct criminal offense, it is possible for someone to face charges for and be convicted of both conspiracy to commit an offense and the actual offense itself. For example, if someone makes a plan to assault someone with assistance from one or more other people, and then the assault in question actually occurs in accordance with the plan, a defendant may have committed both assault and the separate offense of conspiracy to commit assault. A conspiracy lawyer in Columbia could provide more details about how state courts generally approach allegations of this nature during a private consultation.

Talk to a Columbia Conspiracy Attorney About Your Legal Options

Effectively contesting conspiracy charges can be difficult for numerous reasons, not the least of which is how little actually needs to happen for someone to legally “conspire” to commit a crime. In this kind of situation, guidance from experienced legal counsel can be all but essential to protecting your rights and giving yourself a fair chance at a positive case resolution.

A Columbia conspiracy lawyer could answer whatever questions you have about your case and help you understand your defense options. Call today to get started.