A chance meeting between the heads of two competing companies can become basis for a criminal conspiracy prosecution. If the result of the meeting is an agreement to control pricing in the marketplace, a prosecutor could charge the participants with criminal conspiracy if each of the companies suddenly charge the same price for their products.
Criminal conspiracy is frequently part of an array of criminal charges leveled against a person by state or federal-level criminal prosecutors when the target of an investigation is more than one individual. Being represented by a criminal conspiracy attorney like Rand Mintzer is important because the addition of a criminal conspiracy charge can influence a judge to impose severe penalties on the accused.
According to the Texas Penal Code, criminal conspiracy is a preparatory offense. It is an agreement entered into by two or more people or business entities to accomplish one of the following:
A person can be convicted of criminal conspiracy even if the overt criminal act that is the subject of the alleged conspiracy is committed by another of the co-conspirators. Prosecutors favor conspiracy charges because they can present evidence against a group of defendants without fear that a jury might have difficulty differentiating the degree of involvement for each of the participants in the crime.
The penalty for committing a criminal conspiracy in Texas is usually the same as the penalty for committing the underlying crime that was the subject of the conspiracy agreement. This means that a person convicted of criminal conspiracy to commit a robbery without actually committing the underlying crime can receive the same sentence as a person convicted of the robbery. Federal conspiracy violations are usually punished by imprisonment for up to five years with additional punishment added for commission of the underlying charges.
Federal and state laws allow a person to offer several defenses to a criminal conspiracy charge. Common defenses include:
Defense attorneys who are familiar with the details of the criminal conspiracy know that proving the existence of an agreement is an essential element of the prosecution’s case against an accused individual. Conducting a thorough investigation into the facts and evidence surrounding the alleged agreement is a key part of formulating a successful defense strategy.
If you are charged with participating in a criminal conspiracy in Texas, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Get in touch with Rand Mintzer today at 713-862-8880 to schedule an appointment and free legal consultation.