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Can you be charged for thinking about a crime?

Posted by Bulldog Law | Jun 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

Most people have a lot of ideas that they never carry out. The worst that can typically happen is that you are filled with regret when you look back and wish you had gone ahead.

Yet if those ideas had a criminal element to them, you could find yourself in jail for conspiracy to commit a crime.

Conspiracy requires more than one person

The good news is that this can only happen if you talk to someone else about it. It is not an offense to dream about committing a crime.

Here is what else prosecutors will need to prove to convict you on conspiracy charges:

You made an agreement

The prosecution claim they recorded you talking about it. If your pal suggests robbing a bank or defrauding the government, and you say, “Count me out”  or “Let me think about it,” there is no explicit agreement, so there is no conspiracy. If you said, “Sounds good, how about next Tuesday at 3 p.m.?” the prosecution can argue there was.

You made overt moves to further it

Let's say you talked about it, and you agreed to do it. Then what? If neither of you took further action, the prosecution again lacks the grounds to accuse you of conspiracy.

If you set about gathering a team, drawing up plans, securing equipment and so on, that might give them the grounds they need.

It's easy for prosecutors to accuse you of a crime. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, you can make it much harder for them to prove it to a court.

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