New Jersey Conspiracy Lawyer
Conspiracy charges and convictions are taken seriously in New Jersey. If you were charged with or convicted of conspiracy in New Jersey, you need knowledgeable legal counsel on your side who can safeguard your constitutional rights.
A New Jersey conspiracy lawyer can represent you during plea deal negotiations with the State’s Attorney and may be able to help you obtain a favorable plea deal. If a favorable plea deal cannot be reached, your experienced criminal defense attorney could advocate for you in the courtroom at trial and at sentencing hearings.What is Conspiracy?
Pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:5-2, which is the New Jersey conspiracy statute, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more individuals to perform an illegal act – or to perform a legal act illegally.
A criminal conspiracy may violate a New Jersey state law, a federal law, or both, in some instances. Moreover, under New Jersey law, one or more of the parties to a conspiracy must commit an overt act – or an act in furtherance of the plan.
However, no overt act is required when the object – or goal – of the conspiracy is a crime of the first or second degree. Likewise, no overt act is required when the ultimate goal of the conspiracy is to distribute (or to possess with an intent to distribute) a controlled dangerous substance.Evidence in Conspiracy Cases
Conspiracy trials in New Jersey courts can be long and tedious affairs. Under the New Jersey Rules of Evidence, a prosecutor or state’s attorney may be permitted to introduce hearsay testimony in court. Generally speaking, hearsay – an out-of-court statement which is being offered into evidence for its truth – is not admissible at trial. However, under the law, there are many evidentiary exceptions to this general hearsay inadmissibility rule. One of those exceptions involves criminal conspiracy trials.
Under the New Jersey Rules of Evidence, at a criminal conspiracy trial, any out-of-court statement which is made by any of the alleged conspirators is admissible into evidence. Furthermore, any of these out-of-court statements may be used as evidence against all of the alleged conspirators who are standing trial.Conspiracy Penalties
The criminal penalties upon conviction for a conspiracy charge can be very serious and long-standing. Under New Jersey law, conspiracy is a first-degree crime when the goal of the conspiracy is to commit an act of murder or terrorism. This is also true in cases where the ultimate purpose of the conspiracy is to commit a crime of arson in a place of worship or an act involving organized crime.
Conspiracies to commit less-serious offenses may be penalized as second, third, or fourth-degree crimes. The potential penalties upon conviction can involve long periods of incarceration, as well as hefty fines. A skilled New Jersey conspiracy lawyer could attempt to mitigate the charges that an individual may face.Consulting a New Jersey Conspiracy Lawyer Attorney
In some cases, a prosecutor will put a plea deal on the table and allow you to plead down to a lesser charge. A skilled New Jersey conspiracy lawyer can make a recommendation about whether or not someone should accept a specific plea deal. In other instances, a lawyer may be able to help formulate a good legal defense that will result in a complete dismissal of the charge. Or, if you were convicted of conspiracy, a New Jersey lawyer can advocate for you at a sentencing hearing in order to help you obtain a reduced sentence upon conviction.
If you were charged with conspiracy, call a skilled New Jersey conspiracy attorney to help defend your rights.