Generally defined, conspiracy is the act of planning to carry out a criminal offense with one or more other people. Even if the individuals involved do not actually commit the crime, they could all be penalized with jail or prison sentences that are nearly as severe as if they had followed through.
Conspiracy Under the Law
Under Ohio Revised Code 2923.01, individuals are prohibited from planning or agreeing to engage in behavior that furthers the commission of a specific offense. However, to be charged and convicted of this crime, one or more of the people involved in the conspiracy must take steps to complete the crime.
For example, say Brenda and Lucy knew how to acquire heroin. They make a plan together to take possession of the substance and distribute it to others for a profit. Worried about being caught with money earned through selling an illegal drug, they also devise a way to launder the money – conceal its origins so it looks legitimate. They pool their cash together and are about to make a deal with the individual they believe can supply them with heroin.
Because Brenda and Lucy took steps to acquire the drug they were planning to sell, both could be charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin. Additionally, they could be accused of conspiring to launder the proceeds of their sale.
Charges and Consequences
The level of charges a person could face depends on the crime the group conspired to commit:
- If individuals planned to commit aggravated murder, murder, or any offense that is penalized by a maximum prison sentence of life, they could be charged with a first-degree felony.
- If the planned crime is a first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree felony, the conspirators could be charged with a felony that is one level below the most serious offense.
- If the offense involved hazardous waste, violators could be charged with a felony that is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or $25,000 in fines.
- If the most serious offense part of the conspiracy is a fifth-degree felony, conspirators could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
Contact Rion, Rion & Rion for Experienced Criminal Defense
If you were accused of conspiracy, it is crucial to have aggressive legal defense on your side to fight charges. Together, our lawyers have over 80 years of experience, and we know how to build effective strategies and challenge the allegations made against you. We will work hard to get your charges reduced or the case dismissed.
Schedule a consultation today by calling us at (937) 223-9133 or contacting us online.