The term “conspiracy” is thrown around quite a bit in news stories about criminal cases. However, many people are unsure of exactly what constitutes the crime of conspiracy.
Generally speaking, the crime of conspiracy is committed when two or more people agree to commit a crime. See Miss. Code Ann. 97-1-1. In other words, the agreement itself is a crime. At the moment the agreement is made, the crime of conspiracy has been committed. It does not matter if the persons who made the agreement actually follow through with the crime, or even if they take any steps to commit the crime. To secure a conviction for conspiracy, all the State must prove is that the agreement was made. See Brown v. State, 796 So.2d 223 (Miss. 2001); State v. Thomas, 645 So.2d 931 (Miss. 1994); Vickers v. State, 994 So.2d 200 (Miss.App. 2008); Glenn v. State, 996 So.2d 148 (Miss. 2008).
Obviously, the State can prove conspiracy where two people expressly agree to commit the crime. That being said, the State can also prove conspiracy where there is no proof of an express agreement. In such cases, the State may show the existence of a conspiracy by the Defendants’ actions and conduct.
Under Mississippi law, the crime of conspiracy carries a potential sentence of five (5) years in prison and a fine of $5,000.00. If the crime to be committed is capital murder or a controlled substance offense, then the potential sentence is twenty (20) years and a $500,000.00 fine.
While it may seem easy for the State to prove conspiracy, there are many legal defenses to this crime. If you have been arrested for conspiracy in Mississippi, please contact me at 601.944.1984 to discuss your case.