If someone agrees to break the law with one or more other people at a point in the future, they may be charged with conspiracy to commit that crime. Conspiracy charges are among the most serious in Maryland, especially when felony offenses are involved. A conviction can result in several years or even life behind bars.
The law says that the punishment for conspiracy should not exceed the maximum penalty for the crime you conspired to commit. It means that you can get an equal punishment for the underlying crime if you are facing only the conspiracy charge.
The requirements of a conspiracy case
While it all depends on the prevailing circumstances of the case, the mere knowledge of a crime does not automatically make someone a conspirator. A conspiracy charge requires the prosecution to prove that two or more individuals entered into an agreement to commit a crime and that at least one of the conspirators took an overt act or a concrete step toward the commission of the crime.
There must be an agreement and intent by the parties involved. It is worth noting that you can be charged with conspiracy even if you did not personally participate in the commission of the crime. In other words, the crime does not necessarily need to have occurred.
Your defense is key
As noted, there is a lot at stake if convicted of conspiracy charges in Maryland. However, as with all other criminal cases, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for this to happen. Therefore, it is in your best interests to have experienced legal guidance to help protect your rights.