Can you be charged with conspiracy without committing the crime?

Conspiracy charges are handed out when multiple people work together toward some criminal goal, perhaps planning out a crime or agreeing to go in on it together. They then start working toward that goal.

Often, these charges come after the crime has been completed. The people involved are charged both with the crime itself and with conspiracy to commit said crime before the event took place. But what if you never actually got around to carrying out the crime? Can you still be charged with conspiracy?

You can. You may not technically have broken the law, but just because you were caught first doesn't mean you won't face charges simply because you never had a chance to put your plan into action. You still intended to do so and were working toward it either way.

For instance, maybe you and a co-worker decided to steal money from work through an electronic embezzlement scheme. You talked about it, got the company's banking information, worked together to create the necessary software and brought it to your work. However, someone found the program before you had a chance to install it, so you never actually got to skim money off of the top of the company accounts. You may still be charged with conspiracy for the intended theft.

Part of crafting a proper legal defense is simply making sure that you really understand all of the charges you're facing, why you're facing them and whether or not they truly fit the situation. Remember, you always have a right to a fair trial, no matter what you're accused of doing -- or planning to do.

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