In Texas, a person can be charged for merely trying to commit a crime. There are various charges related to efforts put forth in trying to commit a crime, such as attempt and solicitation. Attempt goes beyond basic preparations and consists of doing everything that one can to commit a crime. Solicitation is asking someone to commit a crime. Another crime in this category is called conspiracy.
What Is Conspiracy?
Conspiracy is an action that consists of three or more people coming together in a coordinated effort to commit an overtly criminal act, such as robbing a bank or stealing a car. It is often characterized as a crime itself, although often seen as a less serious crime than the crime that the people were planning to commit.
How Is Conspiracy Defined in Texas?
The crime of conspiracy in Texas is defined as the intent to commit a felony by agreeing with one or more people to commit that felony. In addition, the person being charged must have committed an overt act in accordance with the conspiracy agreement.
Can I Be Charged with Conspiracy If There Was No Verbal or Written Agreement?
Texas law does not require for the defendant to have an actual verbal or written conspiracy agreement with one or more people in order to be found guilty of conspiracy. Instead, prosecutors can infer there was a conspiracy agreement from the acts of each person involved in the conspiracy.
Are There Any Defenses to a Conspiracy Charge I Cannot Use in Texas?
Yes. The state prohibits the use of the following defenses, which may be available in other states:
- One or more of the coconspirators is not criminally responsible for the criminal act.
- The conspired crime was actually committed.
- One of the alleged coconspirators was acquitted of the conspiracy charge. However, it may be a defense if two or more were acquitted.
- The person is in a protected class of people legally incapable of committing the crime.
- One or more of the coconspirators has not been prosecuted for or convicted of conspiracy.
- One or more of the coconspirators received immunity.
- One or more of the coconspirators was convicted of a different crime.
What Is the Punishment for a Conspiracy Conviction in Texas?
Conspiracy is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. This means that the crime is punishable by no more than one year in state jail and/or a $4,000 fine.
Should I Talk to an Attorney about a Conspiracy Charge?
Due to the fact that a conspiracy charge does not require proof of a different crime having actually been committed, it is difficult to defend oneself against such a crime. If you are charged with conspiracy in Texas, you should speak with a Texas criminal defense attorney immediately.