Charlotte Criminal Conspiracy Charges Lawyers

Understanding criminal conspiracy charges can be difficult. Criminal conspiracy is an agreement between two more individuals to commit a crime. Defendants can face federal criminal conspiracy charges or state federal criminal conspiracy charges. There are differences between federal and state law concerning criminal conspiracy.

If You are Facing Criminal Conspiracy Charges, You Need an Experienced Lawyer

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be facing a misdemeanor or felony criminal conspiracy charge. The key to defeating criminal conspiracy charges is to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our lawyers fight hard on behalf of our clients. If you are facing criminal conspiracy charges in Charlotte, North Carolina, there is no time to waste. Contact our criminal defense lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.

What Constitutes Criminal Conspiracy in North Carolina

Federal and state conspiracy laws are somewhat different. However, under both laws, conspiracy involves two or more people agreeing to commit a crime and intending to carry out that crime at the time of the agreement. Even when the agreement is to carry out a lawful act, when the suspects intend to engage in unlawful conduct, conspiracy still happens.

Under North Carolina law, prosecutors must prove the following three elements in a criminal conspiracy charge :

  • The defendant and at least one other person created an agreement
  • The purpose of the agreement was to commit unlawful conduct
  • The defendant and his or her co-conspirators had the required intent to carry out the unlawful conduct at the time they made the agreement.
Conspiracy to Defraud the United States Government

Conspiracy to defraud the United States Government is an extremely serious federal charge. Prosecutors must prove the following elements to convict a defendant of this crime:

  • Two or more people were involved in the conspiracy
  • The defendants conspired to commit any offense against the United States; or to
  • Defraud the United States or any government agency

The federal conspiracy charge statute requires that the conspirators do an act to “effect the object of” the conspiracy. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand the nuances involved in federal conspiracy laws and can develop an effective defense strategy to the charges you face.

Types of Conspiracy Charges

Whenever more than one person is involved in a crime, prosecutors may bring conspiracy charges along with the original criminal charge. The most common types of crimes to include conspiracy charges as well include the following:

  • Drug crimes including possession with intent to distribute and drug trafficking charges
  • Fraud charges including embezzlement, false pretense, forgery, and credit card theft
  • Prostitution charges
  • White-collar crimes including pyramid schemes
  • Illegal firearm sales
  • Conspiracies related to obstruction of justice charges
  • Federal conspiracy offenses
  • Burglary
  • Murder
  • Robbery
Penalties for Conspiracy Charges

Under North Carolina statutes, the sentencing for conspiracy charges depends on the underlying crime. Punishment for conspiracy to commit a felony is one classification level less than the felony offense that the defendant allegedly conspired to commit. For example, if a suspect conspired to commit a Class A felony, they would be charged with a Class B1 felony for the conspiracy to commit the felony. However, there are exceptions to this such as conspiracy to commit a Class A or Class B1 felony is a Class B2 felony and a conspiracy to commit a Class B2 felony is a Class C felony. Additionally, a Class I felony charge would be reduced to a class 1 misdemeanor.

The system of dropping the charges down one classification level for conspiracy charges applies to most charges, but not all charges. One exception is for a Class 3 misdemeanor offense. If you attempted to commit a Class 3 misdemeanor, you will face a Class 3 misdemeanor charge for conspiracy to commit that crime.

Penalties for conspiracy to defraud the United States can lead to a conviction of up to five years and a significant fine. The amount of the fine depends on several factors. One thing is nearly certain though, fines for federal conspiracy charges exceed state law penalties for conspiracy. The sentencing guidelines for North Carolina and federal conspiracy charges are incredibly complex. Working with a lawyer who has experience in the area of conspiracy charges is essential.

How can Arnold & Smith, PLLC Help You?

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our lawyers have the experience necessary to skillfully defend you against conspiracy charges. We will investigate the facts of your case and help you develop an effective defense strategy. Conspiracy is a unique crime. Contact our skilled Charlotte conspiracy lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation. We are prepared to defend you against federal or state criminal conspiracy charges.