Have you been charged with conspiracy? The charge may sound ominous, but it doesn't mean that you will automatically be convicted. After all, there are several defense strategies you can use such as:
Showing Lack of Intent
By definition, a conspiracy means two or more people agree to commit a crime. Therefore, you can argue that you are innocent by claiming that there was no agreement between you and your alleged co-conspirators. Even if your actions led to a crime (or were contributing to the planning of a crime) you should be found innocent if you had no knowledge or intention to commit it.
Consider an example where you and two of your friends pool together some money to buy a car to start a cab business. Suppose that, unbeknownst to you, your two friends were planning to use the car to transport drugs across the border. If you are all arrested, then you can dissociate yourself from the charges by showing that you believed that the car was to be used in a legal business. This should be the case even if you contributed some money, bought a car, and your two friends used it to carry drugs across the border.
Showing Lack of Action to Commit the Crime
In some states, mere verbal agreement to commit a crime is not enough to convict you of conspiracy. Suppose a colleague hears you talk about cooking the books and stealing some funds from the company's accounts. If the colleague reports your words and you are charged with conspiracy, then the prosecution must show that you took some actions to cook the books or steal the money.
For example, if it is found that you had started altering some figures, then you may be convicted even if you had not stolen the money. Remember, you might be convicted even if only one party of the conspiracy took an action to complete it.
Invoking the Specificity Doctrine
Conspiracy is one of the few crimes where you can be charged both for attempting to commit a crime and actually committing it. For example, if you commit a misdemeanor with other people, then you can be charged with conspiracy and misdemeanor.
According to LegalMatch, however, many states have laws against using the same evidence to convict a suspect of two crimes if one is a specific crime and the other is a general crime. This is called the specificity doctrine. Therefore, if you are charged with a misdemeanor and conspiracy, then you can invoke the specificity doctrine to escape the conspiracy charge and only deal with the misdemeanor.
These are general defenses you can sue, but the specifics will differ depending on the state, precedents, and even the judge handling your case. Consulting an experienced lawyer from places like the Law Offices Of Timothy J Ormes who understands how all these factors relate is your best defense move.