West Palm Beach Conspiracy to Commit Fraud Attorney
The word “conspiracy” is thrown around a lot in popular culture. But in legal terms, a conspiracy means something quite specific: an agreement between two or more people to carry out a criminal act. It doesn’t matter if the criminal act is successful. A person can be arrested, tried, and convicted of conspiracy if prosecutors can prove–beyond a reasonable doubt–that the person carried out at least one act designed to “effect the object of the conspiracy.”
Conspiracy charges are quite common in cases involving fraud and other financial crimes. The reason for this is easy to understand. Complex fraud schemes generally involve more than one person. And prosecutors often rely on conspiracy charges to gain leverage over defendants, hoping to turn members of the purported conspiracy against one another.
If you find yourself caught up in such a case, you need to contact an experienced West Palm Beach conspiracy to commit fraud attorney as soon as possible. Even if you think prosecutors cannot make a conspiracy charge stick, you are still facing the prospect of a lengthy criminal trial. At the Skier Law Firm, we will zealously represent your interests before, during, and after the trial. We will carefully review all of the evidence against you and prepare an appropriate defense that can, hopefully, keep you out of jail.
Understanding the Possible Defenses to a Conspiracy Charge
Fraud involves using deception or trickery to obtain the money or property of another. For example, bank fraud occurs when a person impersonates someone else in order to gain access to the victim’s checking account. When the alleged fraud is committed by a single person, there is obviously no conspiracy. But if a second person is involved in any way with planning or carrying out the fraud, this is when conspiracy charges may come into play.
One thing that’s important to emphasize here is the prosecution does not need to prove there was an express agreement between the conspirators. After all, people rarely execute a written agreement detailing their proposed criminal conspiracy. Therefore, all the prosecution needs to show is that the defendant knew about the conspiracy and chose to associate themselves with it. There must also be proof that the defendant took some step towards achieving the conspiracy’s criminal objective.
At the Skier Law Firm, we often find that prosecutors overreach with conspiracy charges. There are many situations where a person may have been indirectly associated with criminal fraud but is not guilty of conspiracy. For example:
- The person had no actual knowledge of the conspiracy.
- The person had some knowledge of the conspiracy but did not participate in the ultimate scheme.
- The person initially agreed to participate in a conspiracy but later withdrew before committing any crime.
- The person participated in the conspiracy, but the resulting actions did not rise to the level of a criminal offense.
Conspiracy to commit fraud cases are highly fact-specific. That is why we carefully review every client’s case before advising them on the proper defense. So if you are facing conspiracy or related white collar criminal charges and need assistance from our West Palm Beach conspiracy attorneys, contact the Skier Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation.