If you plan with someone else to commit a crime in New York, you can face a charge of conspiracy. This is true even if you don’t end up committing the crime. Conspiracy in New York is making a plan with someone else to commit a crime. If anyone that’s in on the conspiracy takes one step to carry out the plan, the conspiracy is complete.
New York’s conspiracy laws
New York law divides conspiracy crimes into several degrees. First degree is the most serious of the conspiracy charges. It’s reserved for agreeing with someone under the age of sixteen to commit a very serious felony. Sixth degree conspiracy is the least serious of the conspiracy charges. It covers agreeing with any person to commit any type of crime.
Conspiracy in the third degree falls in the middle of the conspiracy charges. New York penal law 105.13 defines conspiracy in the third degree as an agreement with one or more people to commit a class B or a class C felony. The person charged with the offense must be over the age of eighteen while at least one of the people involved in the conspiracy must be under the age of sixteen.
Third-degree conspiracy is a class D felony. The maximum penalty is seven years in prison. The court can also place you on probation for up to five years and order you to pay a fine.
Although the maximum sentence is seven years in prison, not everyone who commits conspiracy in the third degree spends seven years in prison. In fact, if your offense isn’t violent and you don’t have any prior criminal history, the court has the option not to order you to spend any time in jail at all. However, conspiracy in the third degree is a serious offense. If you’re facing this charge, it’s important that you discuss the matter with an experienced NYC criminal attorney such as the attorneys at Spodek Law Group.
Ann is twenty years old. Dan is fifteen years old. Ann and Dan agree to sell marijuana to Jan. In fact, they agree to sell Jan eighteen ounces of marijuana. Ann and Dan drive to the meeting spot to make the sale. Jan notifies the police of the pending sale. The police watch the sale and then arrest Ann and Dan.
The sale of more than sixteen ounces of marijuana is a class C felony in New York. Ann is twenty years old. She conspired with a person who is fifteen years old to commit a class C felony. That means Ann can face the charge of conspiracy in the third degree. This is in addition to facing the charge of sale of larceny.
A person facing a charge of criminal conspiracy in the third degree should carefully evaluate the elements of the crime for viable defenses. One common defense is to argue that no person involved in the conspiracy committed any act in furtherance of the conspiracy. It isn’t enough just to talk about wanting to commit a crime. To commit conspiracy, at least one person must take an affirmative step to begin to carry out the plans.
Another common defense is to say that the person charged acted only under duress. If another person threatens someone into agreeing to commit a crime, the court may find that the person is not legally responsible for the conspiracy. In addition, an available defense might be to claim that the planned crime is not a class B or class C felony.
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