Criminal Conspiracy

Texas Criminal Law

The Criminal Conspiracy offense in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you entered into some kind of agreement with another person to commit a felony offense.

In addition to entering into the agreement, the state’s attorneys also have to prove that you made an “overt act” in furtherance of the agreement. Criminal Conspiracy is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 4 “Inchoate Offenses,” Chapter 15 “Preparatory Offenses.”

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Learn more detailed information about the Criminal Conspiracy offense below.

What is the current Texas law about Criminal Conspiracy?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Criminal Conspiracy in Penal Code Section §15.02 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits criminal conspiracy if, with intent that a felony be committed:

(1) he agrees with one or more persons that they or one or more of them engage in conduct that would constitute the offense; and

(2) he or one or more of them performs an overt act in pursuance of the agreement.

How can I be charged with Criminal Conspiracy?

You can be charged with Criminal Conspiracy if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 15.02(a) as described in the section above have been met. The state’s lawyers do not have to prove that a written agreement was made or what the terms agreement were. The prosecuting attorneys may prove that there was an agreement constituting a conspiracy simply by inferences that can be drawn based on the acts of the parties.[2] You can also be convicted if the other party to the agreement was acquitted (found “Not Guilty”) and even if the offense was never actually committed.[3]

What is the punishment for Criminal Conspiracy?

A conviction for Criminal Conspiracy is punished as one category lower than the most serious felony that is the object of the conspiracy.[4] If the most serious felony is a state jail felony, then Criminal Conspiracy would be punished as a Class A misdemeanor,[5] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

Legal References:

^1. Texas Penal Code §15.02^2. Texas Penal Code §15.02(b)^3. Subsection (c) lists five different fact patterns that are specifically excluded from use as a defense to a Criminal Conspiracy charge. From Texas Penal Code §15.02(c):

(c) It is no defense to prosecution for criminal conspiracy that:

(1) one or more of the coconspirators is not criminally responsible for the object offense;

(2) one or more of the coconspirators has been acquitted, so long as two or more coconspirators have not been acquitted;

(3) one or more of the coconspirators has not been prosecuted or convicted, has been convicted of a different offense, or is immune from prosecution;

(4) the actor belongs to a class of persons that by definition of the object offense is legally incapable of committing the object offense in an individual capacity; or

(5) the object offense was actually committed.

^4. Texas Penal Code §15.02(d)^5. Texas Penal Code §15.02(d)

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