Pickens County Conspiracy Lawyer

When you are subject to a criminal investigation, and you know you did not ultimately commit the crime in question, you may be tempted to take the potential charges lightly. However, in some scenarios, you may still be culpable of the crime of conspiracy. It is prudent to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system when you find yourself in this situation.

By working with a Pickens County conspiracy lawyer like Christopher L. Jones, he may be able to help determine your potential exposure to criminal penalties, manage your communications with the police, and build your defense.

What Is a Conspiracy?

South Carolina Code § 16-17-410 defines the crime of conspiracy as a combination of multiple people to accomplish an unlawful or illegal act. Here, combination refers to an agreement, so, in other words, a conspiracy occurs when two or more people agree to commit a crime. This agreement does not have to be formal or in writing; it can be inferred from the people’s actions together. For example, a group of people agreeing to murder another person is a conspiracy. It is irrelevant whether only one of the people is present at the scene of the murder. If everyone joined in the combination, everyone is guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.

South Carolina’s conspiracy law does not require that the conspirators take any action toward committing their crime, unlike the law in many other jurisdictions. Under federal law, for example, 18 U.S. Code § 371 requires that, for a conspiracy to occur, one of the conspirators must have taken an act toward completing the conspiracy’s goal. An attorney in Pickens County with experience handling conspiracy cases could help a defendant determine whether a conspiracy occurred.

What Are the Penalties for Conspiracy?

Conspiracy is always a felony in South Carolina. A person convicted of conspiracy may receive a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years. However, neither the fine nor the prison sentence can be greater than the penalties for the crime underlying the conspiracy.

Additionally, the above limitations are with respect to the conspiracy charge alone. If the crime to which the conspiracy relates is carried out, then each member of the conspiracy may be charged with the underlying crime in addition to conspiracy. In some situations, conspirators may also be charged with other crimes that a co-conspirator committed to accomplish the conspiracy’s goal. A Pickens County attorney may be able to help a defendant determine their likely criminal exposure because of a conspiracy charge and, if necessary, provide arguments for reduced penalties.

What if Someone Voluntarily Leaves a Conspiracy?

Voluntarily exiting a conspiracy may be helpful to an individual defendant, but it will not necessarily remove all threats of a conviction. Simply quitting is not enough; a conspirator who wants out must communicate that they are leaving to their fellow conspirators. Additionally, the point in time when the conspirator leaves also has an impact on conviction.

Effectively withdrawing from a conspiracy could potentially be helpful with respect to charges for the underlying crimes, but it is less likely to be helpful for the conspiracy charge itself. As discussed above, in South Carolina, a conspiracy occurs as soon as there is an agreement to commit a crime in place. Leaving a conspiracy may be helpful to a defendant’s case, but working with a conspiracy lawyer in Pickens County is the best way for a defendant to discover what defenses are potentially available to them.

Reach out to a Pickens County Attorney About Your Conspiracy Case

Being charged with a crime is a stressful and complicated situation. When a conspiracy is involved, the level of complication may be increased because of the lack of a completed underlying crime.

Seeking an appointment with a Pickens County conspiracy lawyer like Christopher L. Jones could help you put forth the best available defense to a conspiracy charge. Contact the firm today for an initial consultation.

Don’t wait to seek counsel for your urgent legal matter. Call our team today at (864) 625-2523 for a free consultation.

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Former Municipal Judge
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Deep Knowledge of the Legal System
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Former Solicitor in South Carolina
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Highly Respected in the Legal Community
Nearly a Decade of Legal Experience
Nearly a Decade of Legal Experience
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