Criminal conspiracy charges arise when two or more individuals plan or agree to commit a crime and take further action to do so. In the context of wire fraud, the threshold for facing conspiracy charges involves a collaborative effort to intentionally deceive and defraud others using electronic means. It is a serious offense with severe legal consequences if convicted.
It’s important to note that you do not have to be the mastermind of the plan for you to be charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Additionally, the fraudulent scheme doesn’t need to have been fully executed or for money to have exchanged hands.
Elements of criminal conspiracy
Specific elements must be present for a conspiracy charge to stand. First, there must be an agreement to commit wire fraud. This agreement does not necessarily need to be formal; it can be expressed directly or implied indirectly. The key aspect here is the planned and concerted effort to execute a fraudulent scheme utilizing electronic communication methods like emails, phone calls or online platforms.
Secondly, the conspirators must also have the intent to commit wire fraud. Each participant must have knowingly and willingly joined the conspiracy, understanding its objectives and intending to contribute to its accomplishment.
Lastly, an overt act must be taken in furtherance of the conspiracy to serve as proof that the conspirators actively pursued the illegal plan. The act itself need not be unlawful but must connect to the achievement of the underlying crime – to commit wire fraud. These may include purchasing supplies for the planned crime, making preparations or initiating communications related to the criminal activity.
Whether you will be charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud as a felony or misdemeanor at the state or federal level depends on the particulars of your offense. Regardless, a lot is at stake if you are found guilty of the offense.
Therefore, it is prudent to seek legal guidance as soon as possible to understand your rights and navigate the legal complexities. It can also be pivotal in building a defense strategy to increase the odds of a desirable outcome for your case.