Believe it or not, there are times when someone in New York might receive criminal charges even when they were not the ones actually committing the crime. Under certain circumstances, if someone close to you has committed a crime, you could receive a criminal charge for either conspiracy or facilitation, depending on what the prosecutor alleges that your role in the crime was.
Conspiracy is a criminal charge that alleges that two or more people intended to commit a crime and planned how to carry that crime out.
There are several different forms – or degrees – of conspiracy that the state can charge you with, depending on the circumstances. The prosecutor’s goal will be to prove that you and at least one other person created a plan to commit a crime together.
Fortunately, the court cannot convict you simply for your private thoughts or vague conversations about a crime. In order for a successful conviction, the prosecutor will have to present evidence that proves that you or another of the alleged co-conspirators took a substantial step towards the commission of the crime.
For example, a group of people merely talking about robbing a bank is not illegal. The prosecutor would have to show that, after that conversation, at least one of those people purchased a gun, obtained a map of the bank, secured a getaway vehicle or something similar.
Facilitation is when one person provides another person with aid, money or advice that helps that person to commit a crime.
In other words, the facilitating person does not actually have to commit the crime themselves – it is enough for a conviction if the prosecutor can show that the person who committed the crime did so using some form of help that came from the facilitating person.
If you receive criminal charges of conspiracy or facilitation, there are defenses available to you. With quick, decisive action, you and your attorney can hopefully put together a defense to show that you are not guilty of helping someone else commit a crime.