Can you face criminal charges even if you did not follow through with a crime? In some cases, the answer to that question is yes. For instance, if you made a plan with other individuals to commit a crime in the near future, you could face allegations of conspiracy if authorities catch wind of the plan and believe that charges are applicable.
Of course, like with any type of criminal charge, prosecutors would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had involvement in the plan along with other elements. Conspiracy charges could result for a number of reasons, and they are not unusual in suspected drug distribution or trafficking cases.
What is involved?
Conspiracy charges do not mean that police can arrest you for hypothetically talking about distributing illegal substances. However, if officers conduct an investigation and believe the following elements apply, your case could move to a trial:
- An agreement: This element means that authorities have evidence that you and at least one other party agreed to carry out a criminal act.
- Intent: This detail means that you and the other party or parties involved showed intent of actually carrying out the plan. Intent could come in various forms, such as taking steps to plan a route for taking substances from North Carolina and over state lines.
- Overt act: An overt act involves a concrete step to get the plan in motion, such as obtaining the illegal substances intended to distribute or traffic. Anyone involved in the alleged plan could take this step.
If evidence of intent or an overt act exists, authorities could argue that the situation involved more than just speculating about a possible crime. Of course, even if you face charges for conspiracy, it does not mean that you are automatically guilty.
Defending against allegations
Creating a criminal defense against conspiracy charges may seem difficult, but the prosecution may have an even more difficult time trying to prove that the elements of the crime exist. As a result, you should not feel without hope. Going over more details relating to this type of criminal charge and how the circumstances of your exact case could apply may allow you to uncover your most favorable criminal defense options. Having reliable and applicable information about your case may prove useful in this endeavor.