The idea that you can face punishment for planning to do something before actually doing it does not sit right with many people.
After all, criminal statutes typically aim to punish an offender after they commit the illegal act, not beforehand.
Conspiracy charges address the conduct of offenders who intend to cause or commit a felony, whether or not they complete the crime.
Dealing with criminal conspiracy charges can create lots of stress and uncertainty for a defendant.
What Is Criminal Conspiracy in Nebraska?
The criminal conspiracy definition in Nebraska is outlined in Nebraska Revised Statutes § 28-202.
To prove criminal conspiracy, the prosecution must show that the defendant intended to promote or facilitate the commission of a felony.
This element must be combined with the following:
- An agreement between one or more parties to engage in or solicit the conduct or to cause or solicit the resulting felony; and
- The defendant or another conspiring party commits an overt act in pursuance of the conspiracy.
That means that the prosecution needs to show two things to establish proof of criminal conspiracy. First, they must show an agreement to commit a criminal act.
Second, they must demonstrate that an overt act in furtherance of that agreement occurred.
An overt act means an action that tends to show the existence of a conspiracy and manifests an intention to accomplish the crime.
It does not necessarily have to qualify as an illegal act to constitute an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.
For example, suppose three friends agree to rob a bank. Friend A plays the role of the lookout.
Friend A’s role involves sending the other two co-conspirators a message when the security guard exits the bank.
This sets the robbery plan into motion. Once Friend A sends that message, that constitutes an overt act in pursuance of the conspiracy.
The fact that a conspiracy ended unsuccessfully is not a valid defense to the charge of conspiracy.
Additionally, it does not matter if you did not know the identities of the other conspirators. You can still face criminal conspiracy charges for your role in the agreement.
If you are facing criminal conspiracy charges, contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law as soon as possible.
Criminal Conspiracy Punishment
Criminal conspiracy charges can fall into multiple classifications.
Under the criminal conspiracy statute, the conspiracy charge is a crime of the same class as the most serious offense that was an object of the conspiracy.
In other words, if you conspired to commit a Class II felony, then your conspiracy charge is a Class II felony—subject to one exception.
The conspiracy to commit a Class I felony constitutes a Class II felony.
Below, we’ll cover the punishments for just a sampling of felony charges. You can check Nebraska Revised Statutes 28-105 for details of all classifications and related punishments.
Potential Criminal Conspiracy Sentence: Class I Felony
A criminal conspiracy to commit a Class I felony qualifies as a Class II felony.
In Nebraska, a Class II felony carries a minimum one-year prison sentence, with a maximum prison sentence of 50 years.
Class 1 felonies in Nebraska include first-degree murder, kidnapping, and large quantity meth crimes.
Potential Criminal Conspiracy Sentence: Class III Felony
A criminal conspiracy to commit a Class III felony qualifies as a Class III felony for purposes of sentencing. In Nebraska, forgery, fraud, and computer crimes typically represent Class III felonies.
A Class III felony carries a maximum potential prison sentence of four years, in addition to two years of post-release supervision. Additionally, the court can impose a fine of up to $25,000.
The minimum sentence for a Class III felony is nine months of post-release supervision if a term of imprisonment is imposed.
Potential Criminal Conspiracy Sentence: Class IV Felony
A criminal conspiracy to commit a Class IV felony qualifies as a Class IV felony for purposes of sentencing.
Crimes like misappropriation of funds, stalking, and repeat theft offenses represent Class IV felonies in Nebraska.
A Class IV felony or conspiracy to commit a Class IV felony carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, in addition to one year of post-release supervision.
Additionally, the court can impose a fine of up to $10,000.
Facing Criminal Conspiracy Charges in Nebraska? Contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law Today
If you or a loved one are facing criminal conspiracy charges in Nebraska, you should contact a criminal attorney right away.
A criminal conviction can result in many negative consequences, including spending time in jail or paying hefty court fines.
Hiring a qualified defense lawyer gives you the best chance of getting your charges reduced or dismissed.
We believe that everyone facing criminal allegations deserves a strong legal defense. Our team understands the seriousness of facing criminal charges.
We will advocate for your interests and fight to secure a desirable outcome. Contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law, so we can review your case.