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People in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania know a murder conviction will result in some of the most severe punishments possible. When it comes to conspiracy to commit murder, there is a significant amount of confusion as to its exact meaning. Charging someone with conspiracy to commit murder is complicated. It only takes one person who is considered a conspirator to be arrested. When this happens, anyone who was part of the planning or participated in any aspect of the crime may also be charged with conspiracy.
Comprehending Conspiracy To Commit Murder
Under Pennsylvania law, the definition of conspiracy to commit murder will involve any criminal activity connected to someone’s actions if it can be proven there was a clear desire to facilitate or promote the committing of murder. Two things must be established.
*Someone aided other individuals who made plans to commit a crime.
*Someone had an agreement with other individuals to participate in criminal activity.
When it comes to conspiracy to commit murder, a person does not have to be at the murder scene, handled a weapon or do something directly that caused the victim’s death. A person could be arrested for conspiracy to commit murder if they participated or acted to further the crime. A person could be charged with this if they were part of a group of two or more individuals who solicited, intended, planned or attempted to murder an individual. In this case, a person’s association is what constitutes criminal activity.
Otherwise Lawful Acts
People need to realize the agreement or type of aid itself will not need to be illegal for a person to be arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. Certain acts that are lawful may still result in a person being arrested for intent to assist in the ultimate goal of committing murder. Some examples are the following:
*Being the driver of a getaway vehicle.
*Purchasing a firearm.
*Renting a room at a hotel to commit murder.
*Providing a co-conspirator with a weapon.
*Making signals to the other co-conspirators.
*Calling on the phone to support the plan for murder.
*Any act considered to be legal in other types of contexts but is unlawful because the reason for it is to kill another person.
It is not necessary to have an explicit agreement. It does not have to be a written or formal agreement. It doesn’t even need to list a person’s explicit consent to join the conspiracy to commit murder. A person can be charged because of circumstantial evidence. It can be based on a person’s conduct as well as acts and omissions. All of this can be used by a prosecutor to obtain a conviction. The only things necessary are any type of inference of an unlawful agreement and an act for its furtherance.
The definition of conspiracy to commit murder is very broad. It comes with a wide variety of evidence that can be admitted into court. It only requires one person to make an allegation that can result in someone being arrested. A person could be charged with the identical crime as other individuals who were planning, agreeing as well as aiding to commit murder.
Should a person be convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, they will face the same punishment as the other co-conspirators in the case. A person convicted of this is in a similar situation to the individual who committed the murder. A guilty verdict could cause a person to receive life in prison for first-degree murder. Lower felony charges could still result in a person serving 20 years as well as paying a fine over $24,000.
There are ways to fight such a charge. An experienced attorney will know how to detect any weaknesses in the case of the prosecution. They may know how to dispute that such an agreement existed and be able to present evidence to prove it. An attorney may know how to provide evidence that will contradict any allegation their client planned or participated in the crime. They will expose flaws and raise doubt in the minds of jurors.
It is important to contact an experienced attorney when charged with conspiracy to commit murder. A person in these circumstances has rights. They will need an experienced criminal attorney to protect them and provide the best possible legal defense.