Residents of a Cherokee County community reported what seemed to be an explosion near their homes on February 15. Authorities identified a suspect, Andrew Davidson, who is now facing a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime. This was after authorities allegedly found explosives and bomb-making materials in his house.
But this begs the question… What exactly is conspiracy to commit a crime in Georgia?
Conspiracy is one of few criminal offenses where the crime does not actually have to be completed in order for someone to be guilty of the offense. The goal with the offense of conspiracy is to prevent heinous and serious crimes from taking place in the first place. Georgia is not the only state to have a conspiracy law - most states have them, just punishments and statute language change.
Let's look to the law.
Someone has committed the offense of conspiracy to commit a crime in Georgia when he or she “together with one or more persons conspires to commit any crime and any one or more of such persons does any overt act to effect the object of the conspiracy” (O.C.G.A. §16-4-8). According to Georgia courts, there must be an agreement or even just a mere tacit understanding between at least two people that they will commit a crime. Kilgore v. State, 251 Ga. 291 (1983); Garmon v. State, 122 Ga. App. 61 (1970). This means that in order to be convicted of conspiracy, the accused person or persons must actually be actively working on the arrangement to commit a crime.
What are the penalties for a conviction?
If the state of Georgia finds the accused person guilty of conspiracy to commit a crime and he or she is convicted, then there are three different options for penalties. First, if the conspiracy was to commit a felony, then the the accused will be punished as if they were convicted of a felony. This means imprisonment of anywhere from one year to one half of the maximum period of the felony crime they were conspiring to commit. Second, if the conspiracy was to commit a misdemeanor, then the accused will be punished as if they were convicted of a misdemeanor. Lastly, if the conspiracy was to commit a crime that could be punishable by a life sentence or by death, the punishment will only be for imprisonment between one to ten years.
Are there Georgia Criminal Defenses to a conspiracy charge?
Well, if you are armed with a top-rated Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, then he or she will know the particulars and how to defend your case. Some defenses may include:
- There was no actual agreement.
- You acted by yourself.
- Withdrawing from the conspiracy.
If you or a loved one has been charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, contact us today so a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can best defend your case.