If you are arrested for conspiracy, your life could change significantly. Conspiracy is a serious criminal charge that carries significant consequences, including jail time. Fortunately, you have the right to defend yourself against your accusations with the help of a Minnesota conspiracy lawyer. An experienced attorney could walk you through the steps of your investigation and trial and protect your rights throughout the legal process.
How the Prosecution Proves Conspiracy
Under Minnesota Statute § 609.175, conspiracy is defined as one person planning with another to commit a crime. To be guilty of conspiracy, one of the parties must perform an act in furtherance of the conspiracy. However, the crime does not need to be completed for a defendant to be found guilty of conspiracy.
Every defendant is presumed innocent, and the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant committed the crime. To prove the defendant is guilty, the prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that they violated every element of the conspiracy statute. A skilled conspiracy attorney in Minnesota could help the defendant establish that the prosecution does not have a legitimate case.
Path of a Conspiracy Trial
After a defendant’s arrest, they have a right to make a phone call. With this phone call, the defendant could contact a conspiracy attorney in Minnesota to represent them throughout their court proceedings.
After an arrest, a bail hearing is held to determine whether the defendant will be released from custody. Both sides make arguments, and the judge decides if the defendant is released and on what conditions, including bail.
Next is a first appearance where the defendant is informed of the charges, their rights, and is allowed to enter a plea. After the first appearance, the next formal step is a pre-trial settlement conference where the sides negotiate with an eye on a potential plea deal. Should no deal be reached, the defendant’s case will go to trial, and if convicted, there will be a sentencing hearing.
Penalties for Conspiracy Crimes
The penalties that a defendant faces for a conspiracy conviction depends on the crime they conspired to commit.
When the defendant agrees to commit a misdemeanor criminal defense, they could face a jail sentence of up to 90 days, a $300 fine, or potentially both. If the defendant conspired to commit treason or first-degree murder, they could receive a sentence of up to 20 years in jail. For any other felony and gross misdemeanors, the possible penalties are imprisonment or a fine of up to half the amount of the penalties for the underlying crime.
A defendant with a criminal record may face harsher penalties. Due to past criminal behavior, the judge may sentence the defendant to a higher sentence within the allowed range for the crime.
Contact a Minnesota Conspiracy Attorney for Help Right Away
If you are facing conspiracy charges, you should seek help to prepare a thorough defense. A skilled Minnesota conspiracy lawyer could help you achieve the best outcome possible in your case by diligently working to cast doubt on the prosecution’s argument. Contact our firm today to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team and start building your defense.