A Complex Crime
Conspiracy can one of the more complex crimes that anyone can be charged with in Oklahoma because it can involve plots to carry out and cover up other crimes. If you are charged with conspiracy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you need help. A knowledgeable Tulsa criminal lawyer can mean the difference between prison and freedom.
A Broad and Complex Law
In Oklahoma law, conspiracy is broadly defined. It is any agreement between two or more people to intentionally commit any kind of crime. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 421. This definition is meant to include a multitude of agreements. This makes it easy for the prosecution to charge a person with the crime.
Typically, conspiracy charges involve agreements between people to commit crimes like robbery, homicide or some sort of illegal drug activity, but the crime is so broadly defined that it can include many different crimes.
It can include cheating or defrauding a person of their property, either by false pretenses or by any other illegal means. It can also include bringing or maintaining a charge or lawsuit against someone that you know to be unfounded or false. Likewise, conspiracy can include any act that is injurious to public health, morals or trade or commerce. Finally, it can also include agreements between people to obstruct justice. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 421.
Examples might include destroying evidence or hiding evidence that could be used against you or another person, developing a ponzi scheme to defraud people of money or property, or even building a bomb to destroy property or injure people.
Other Types of Conspiracy
If the conspirators’ plan is to bomb a building in Oklahoma or commit another crime against the peace of the state by two or more people who live outside of Oklahoma, the crime is chargeable as a felony and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 422.
Likewise, in a conspiracy against the state of Oklahoma such as any offense against a county, school district or city, all parties to the agreement can be found guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of up to $25,000, a prison term of up to 10 years, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 424. An example of this kind of crime could include plotting to steal a piece of art belonging to a city, county, or state to sell it and split the money.
Just Plotting May Be Enough to Get You Into Trouble
Just the plotting to commit a crime is enough to be charged with the crime of conspiracy. This is true even if you did not actually commit the underlying crime. Not only can you be found guilty of the conspiracy itself, you can also be held responsible for all crimes committed as a part of the conspiracy. For example, if conspirators steal a getaway car so they can rob a bank, later deciding the bank robbery is too risky, they might still be charged with auto theft and conspiracy. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 421.
Proof Can Be Complex
In order to secure a conviction of conspiracy, the prosecution must prove every element of the crime. If any element is not proved, there is no conviction. The prosecution must show:
- an agreement with at least one other person to intentionally commit a crime;
- that you were a party to the agreement either at the time the agreement was made or knowingly entered the agreement later; and
- that you took action in furtherance of the commission of the crime.
This must be an overt act, not the conspiracy itself. And the act must be substantial and must further the commission of the underlying crime. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 423.
Conspiracy by itself is chargeable as a misdemeanor. However, if the crime being plotted is a felony, the conspiracy is charged as a felony as well. It is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 as much as 10 years. Because the crime of conspiracy can be complex, there are many defenses that criminal defense lawyers in Tulsa Okla. could explore with you if you are facing conspiracy charges in Oklahoma.
Free Consultation: Criminal Defense Lawyers in Tulsa, Okla.
Don’t try to navigate this alone. A conspiracy conviction can mean years in prison. There may be valid conspiracy defenses available to you if you are being charged with conspiracy.
Call 918-879-1681 for a free consultation or submit a question through this website.