One of the most misunderstood aspects of criminal law by those who have not worked in law enforcement or the law is that of the crime of conspiracy. Many people assume that if you just talk about committing a crime, but do not actually go through with it, then you are not guilty of a crime, because you never actually committed a crime, right? That assumption is wrong when there is a situation in which two or more people made an agreement to commit a crime, and took an overt act in furtherance of that agreement, even if that act was otherwise legal, such as filling your car with a tank of gas to prepare for a getaway. This is considered the crime of conspiracy, and in Oklahoma you can face serious jail time if you are convicted of conspiracy.
Under Oklahoma law, the crime of conspiracy consists of two steps, or “elements,” that a prosecutor must show:
An agreement to commit a crime; and
An overt act to effect the purpose of the conspiracy, by either party to the conspiracy
Take an example of a husband and a wife who decide one night that they are going to rob their next door neighbor when he is away on vacation. The wife knocks on the neighbor’s door to ask if he would like them to hold his mail while he is gone, but in actuality she is scoping out the house in preparation for the robbery. She sees that the neighbor has an alarm system installed in his home, and so she makes the decision that it would be a bad idea to rob the home and she and her husband abandon the idea.
In that example, there would be a criminal conspiracy because the husband and wife made an agreement to commit the crime in robbing the house, and the wife took an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy by going to the neighbor’s house, which would otherwise be legal, but nevertheless fulfills the second requirement for conspiracy as an overt act in furtherance of the planned robbery. Both husband and wife could be charged with conspiracy under these facts.
The Penalties for Conspiracy in Oklahoma
If you are convicted of a conspiracy in Oklahoma, and the crime you agreed to commit was a felony, you can face up to ten years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the crime you agreed to commit was a misdemeanor, then you will face a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy. A defendant guilty of conspiracy can also be found guilty of all crimes committed in furtherance of conspiracy, even if the defendant himself did not commit the crimes.
Fight Back Against Oklahoma Conspiracy Charges
Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney Patrick Quillian worked as an Oklahoma district attorney, so he has the experience of working on the other side and understands how to best fight your case and work towards a dismissal of charges, not guilty verdict, or favorable agreement with reduction of penalties and charges in your Oklahoma conspiracy case. Contact the office of J. Patrick Quillian, Attorney at Law, today at 405.294.4448 to schedule a free consultation to see what his criminal defense team can do for you.