What Is Criminal Conspiracy in Texas?

In Texas, criminal conspiracy is the agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal act and one of the involved parties acts in pursuance of the agreement. This agreement need not be explicit; it can be implied through actions or words.

It’s important for those facing criminal conspiracy charges to understand this offense and how it may apply to their legal situation. If you are facing such charges, consider the following information as a primer for a more in-depth conversation with an attorney who can provide you with personalized legal guidance.

Examples of Criminal Conspiracy

While the term “conspiracy” can conjure notions of clandestine cloak-and-dagger operations, it’s a lot more usual and mundane in practice.

The following scenarios could be considered criminal conspiracies:

  • Two people agree to rob a convenience store, and one of them obtains a firearm to use during the crime.
  • Executives at a company agree to deceive investors by falsifying financial records.
  • A group of people agree to participate in specific roles that facilitate a drug smuggling operation.
  • Someone attempts to pay another person to murder a third party.

As previously mentioned, a criminal conspiracy involves an agreement to do something illegal and at least one party acting upon the agreement. Conspirators can be held liable for the full extent of the intended offense, even if it was never completed.

Penalties for Criminal Conspiracy in Texas

Criminal conspiracy charges wobble according to the severity of the crime relevant to the conspiracy. Generally, conspiracy in Texas is charged as one category less severe than the object of the conspiracy.

Here are some examples of how this charging schedule works:

  • The conspiracy to commit a Class A misdemeanor would likely be charged as a Class B misdemeanor.
  • The conspiracy to commit a state jail felony would likely be charged as a Class A misdemeanor.
  • The conspiracy to commit a first-degree felony would likely be charged as a second-degree felony.

Because the severity of conspiracy charges depends on the severity of the crime allegedly conspired, penalties can range from days to months in jail or even years in prison, along with thousands of dollars in fines.

Defenses Against Allegations of Criminal Conspiracy

While the prospect of facing criminal conspiracy charges may seem daunting, individuals accused of such offenses have avenues for defense.

Some common defenses include:

  • Lack of agreement: If it can be demonstrated that there was no genuine agreement to commit a crime, the charge of conspiracy may not hold.
  • Withdrawal: If a conspirator withdraws from the conspiracy and takes affirmative steps to thwart its execution, they may be absolved of liability. However, withdrawal must be unequivocal and communicated to all other conspirators.
  • Lack of intent: If it can be shown that an individual did not possess the requisite intent to commit the unlawful act, they may have a valid defense against charges of conspiracy.

Consulting with a criminal defense attorney can provide you with the knowledge and legal advice you need to defend against conspiracy charges.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you were arrested for participating in a criminal conspiracy, don’t hesitate to reach out to Rodriguez & Gimbert P.L.L.C. for legal assistance. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can provide the legal services you need to understand your legal situation and how to move forward.

With our help, you may be able to reduce your charges and avoid unfair penalties. For more information, contact us today.