Red Bank Conspiracy Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with conspiracy in Monmouth County, you cannot take this offense lightly. Navigating through the tricky waters of a conspiracy charge can be complicated, especially when you consider that N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 (“Conspiracy”) exposes you to the same penalties as the person who committed the crime. What this means is that you can be sentenced for distribution of drugs, theft by deception or a similar violation even though you were not the person who executed the related transaction. The reason for this treatment is to deter someone from serving as an accomplice to a crime. Obtaining competent legal representation can go a long way in helping someone like you from being convicted.
Attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have experience handling all types of criminal offenses, including conspiracy. With over 100 years defending individuals arrested in Howell, Wall, Keansburg, Brielle, Fair Haven or another municipality. We also happen to have extensive time litigating first, second, third and fourth degree indictable crimes at that Monmouth County Superior Court. Call our attorneys today at 732-462-1197 or 732-450-8300 for an immediate telephone consultation. An attorney will also be happy to meet you without obligation in our Red Bank Office, Freehold Office or another location.
Proof Required To Convict You Of Conspiracy
In order to prove a conspiracy charge under N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2, the prosecutor must establish several elements. In this regard, a conviction cannot be sustained unless:
- The defendant possesses a purpose to promote or facilitate the commission of a crime;
- There is an agreement between the defendant and at least one other individuals to commit, attempt or solicit the commission of a crime or to aid in the planning, commission, attempt or solicitation of the crime; AND
- The defendant engaged in an overt act in pursuit of the conspiracy.
There are several issues that reoccurred in conspiracy cases including the scope of liability in terms conspirators, time and crimes committed. Generally, if the accused knows that the person with whom they are conspiring has conspired with others, then they are also conspirators with third parties. In addition, a conspiracy last as long as it takes to commit the crimes or there has been an effective abandonment. A conspiracy has been abandoned if, and only if, the defendant advises those with whom he conspired of his intent to abandon the conspiracy or he informs law enforcement authorities of the existence of the conspiracy and of his participation therein. As to criminal responsibility for the acts of conspirators, a defendant is accountable for all crimes, even if outside the scope of the agreement, that are reasonably foreseeable consequences of the conspiracy. For example, if the original agreement was to commit a burglary but turned to robbery when persons were present in the structure, both offenses fall within the conspiracy.
Grading of Offense & Penalties For Conspiracy
The framework for grading of conspiracy is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:5-4 and does not apply with respect to disorderly persons offenses. As a general rule, conspiracy is the same grade as the underlying criminal offense. For example, if the crime was third degree possession of heroin then conspiracy to commit this offense is also a third degree crime. There is an exception, however, for first degree crimes that render conspiracy to commit such an offense a second degree crime. The penalties to be applied at sentencing for conspiracy are as follows:
- Second Degree Conspiracy. A second degree crime for conspiracy results in 5-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
- Third Degree Conspiracy. Conspiracy as a third degree crime carries up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.
- Fourth Degree Conspiracy. A conspiracy offense can result in 18 months in state prison and a $10,000 fine where it is a fourth degree crime.
Freehold NJ Conspiracy Attorney
Conspiracy is probably one of the most written charges by police, as well as prosecutors at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Not surprisingly, a large percentage of indictments returned in the region include a count alleging accomplice liability in this fashion. Whether your charge stems from being indicted in Freehold or arose from a criminal complaint issued in Long Branch, Aberdeen, Hazlet, Keyport, Belmar or another locality, the consequences you face are severe. You will not only have a felony record but also be subject to incarceration for over a year and as much as ten depending on the degree of crime. It is important that you therefore seek guidance from a skilled attorney to defend your conspiracy charge. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have an abundance of experience to put into action for your benefit.