In Texas, conspiracy is a serious crime, punishable by criminal penalties. In order to fully understand the crime, it is necessary to understand what the prosecution must do in order to succeed.
Texas defines a conspiracy as an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. It is the agreement itself that constitutes conspiracy, regardless of whether the individuals committed the intended criminal act.
Individuals can be charged with conspiracy even if the intended crime is never executed.
Texas conspiracy laws require that the following elements be present:
- An agreement between two or more individuals to commit a crime,
- Intent to commit the crime, and
- Acting overtly to further the agreement.
To prove a specific criminal act, the prosecution must demonstrate a mutual understanding or agreement between two or more individuals. An agreement can be express (verbal or written) or implied through the actions and behavior of the conspirators.
Those involved in the conspiracy must intend to commit the underlying crime. There is no requirement for them to commit the crime in order to share an intent.
Conspiracy in Texas requires a clear step towards the commission of the intended crime as well as an overt act perpetrated to further the agreement. An overt act can be as simple as making a phone call, purchasing supplies, or conducting surveillance.
Types of crimes
Texans can face conspiracy charges for a range of criminal offenses, including drug trafficking, theft, and murder. Depending on the intended crime the conspirators planned to commit, the severity of conspiracy charges will vary.
Charges of conspiracy can be complicated, involving multiple individuals and a great deal of evidence. It is the responsibility of the prosecutor to present sufficient evidence to prove each component of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
Evidence of an agreement can include witness statements, recorded conversations, emails, or other forms of communication.
Mere association or knowledge of a crime is not sufficient to establish conspiracy. An agreement to commit the criminal act and active participation in it distinguish conspiracies from simply knowing about the activity or being associated with it.
An individual charged with conspiracy could face serious consequences, such as substantial fines and imprisonment. You should understand your rights and mount a strong defense if you are facing conspiracy charges.