Conspiracy charges related to entering an agreement with someone else surrounding the intent to commit an illegal act or crime. A lot of people automatically assume that conspiracy always involves a group of people or other types of organized crime. However, most conspiracy charges are placed when a person has entered an agreement with at least one other and that one of these two actually performed an act to make good on the agreement.
Texas Laws and Penalties
A conspiracy charge is generally a lower level charge. However, this does not mean sentencing is light. Indeed, it is possible to get a final felony conviction. In Texas, the crime of conspiracy is generally one or two degrees below a completed charge, but it does depend on the type of crime that was planned and the level at which this would stand as a completed charge.
Furthermore, the collateral consequences of the lesser charge are the same as with a completed charge. For instance, in a sex offense case, someone who conspired to commit a sexual offense will have to sign the register, even if they didn’t actually do the act. People can have their driver’s license revoked if they conspired to distribute drugs, or they can be deported or denied citizenship if they were involved in white collar crime.
In Texas, many conspiracy cases are relating to drugs. These come under the federal drug conspiracy statute of 18 USC 371. However, the state will also often use the Texas Penal Code Section 71.02, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, particularly if a group of people have been involved in the act.
Texas Conspiracy Penalties
Someone who is charged with conspiracy is punished for doing a little bit more than coming to an agreement to engage in an illegal act or crime with someone else. The difficulty in these cases is, however, determining what “a little bit more” actually is. Furthermore, the action that is taken does not have to be any kind of criminal act, so long as the eventual goal would be a criminal act. If a conviction is to be successful, it must be proven that an act was engaged with in order to carry out the agreement.
It is also important to know that Texas is known as the state with the harshest penalties. Hence, it is not uncommon for them to use the same charge as they would with a completed charge, depending on the severity of the case. Conspiracy to commit murder, for instance, will generally be charged at the same level as murder itself.
Texas Statute of Limitation
The statute of limitation for a conspiracy charge in Texas is the same as for a full charge. Hence, it depends full on the nature of the crime, ranging from no statute of limitations for cases such as murder and manslaughter, to two years for prostitution. It is also important to understand that the statute of limitation can be tolled or suspended, which would official grant the state more time to take someone to trial.
Key Texas Conspiracy Cases
- Another Co-Defendant in Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy Case Involving Former NFL Player Sam Hurd, Pleads Guilty – Jesse Tyrone Chavful is charged together with his cousin, ex professional football player Samuel George Hund III, in a conspiracy to distribute over 5kg of cocaine. The sentence involves at least 10 years imprisonment (up to life) and a fine of $10 million.
- Mansion target in synthetic marijuana smuggling ring – A mansion on Centurion Avenue was raided, as it was believed to be part of an international smuggling ring of synthetic marijuana. Customers existed all over the world, from New Jersey to China. 11 people have been indicted in the case.
- Court Issues Partial Win to Bin Laden Assistant – A former assistant to Osama Bin Laden has had his conviction of conspiracy to commit war crimes upheld following appeal. However, his solicitation convictions and material support convictions have been overturned. The conspiracy charge still stands, however, for which he has received a life imprisonment sentence. Before his appeal, he was also convicted of soliciting others to commit war crimes and providing material support for terrorist acts.
- Twenty-Six People Charged in Drug Conspiracy, Accused of Distributing Heroin, Cocaine, and Marijuana – 17 people have been arrested in different states after having been indicted on various federal charges relating to drug trafficking. The focus was on cocaine, heroin and marijuana and the trafficking was happening between Texas and Washington D.C. Two people had already been arrested, and a further seven have been arrested in McAllen, Texas.