Maryland Conspiracy Law

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Maryland Conspiracy Attorneys

In Maryland, a conspiracy to commit a crime occurs when two or more individuals agree to engage in criminal activity. The state’s laws on conspiracy are based on the specific alleged crimes rather than a separate set of conspiracy laws. Understanding and defending against conspiracy charges can be challenging as they are considered incomplete, or inchoate, crimes. It is crucial to secure the assistance of a qualified Maryland conspiracy lawyer if you or your loved one is facing conspiracy charges.

Conspiracy Charges in Maryland

Conspiracy charges are derived from the relevant sections of the criminal code related to the specific alleged crimes. For instance, a charge related to conspiracy to commit murder would state that the primary defendant and the alleged co-conspirator unlawfully conspired to murder a specific victim. The basis for this charge is § 1-203 of the Maryland Criminal Code.

It’s important to note that conspiracy charges are not limited to violent crimes. Maryland criminal code § 11-204 addresses unlawful contracts, combinations, and conspiracies, which encompass activities such as price-fixing, discrimination, monopolies, and unfair competition.

Crimes that Can Involve Conspiracy Charges

Conspiracy charges can be applied to various crimes, including murder, drug distribution, embezzlement, fraud, and any offense that involves multiple individuals. Alleged gang members often face conspiracy charges if a crime is considered gang-related. In such cases, a defendant may be charged based on their knowledge of the potential crime or if they stand to benefit from its commission.

Prosecutors may file conspiracy charges to target a broader range of individuals than those directly involved in the actual crime. Conspiracy crime statutes are often broadly worded, and defendants may be surprised to find themselves accused of conspiring to commit a crime. Seeking the assistance of an experienced conspiracy defense lawyer in Maryland is crucial when facing such charges.

Penalties for Conspiracy Convictions

Maryland conspiracy charges carry penalties equivalent to those of the actual crimes involved. Sentencing depends on the evidence presented by the prosecution, as well as relevant federal and local statutes. Factors such as age, background, criminal record, education, and attitude may also be considered.

The severity of the sentence may vary depending on the nature and circumstances of the crime. For instance, conspiracy to commit murder may result in a harsher sentence compared to conspiracy to defraud or other economic, trade, or commerce-related conspiracies.

Certain drug-related offenses in Maryland have mandatory minimum sentences that specify conspiracy charges in their description. For example:

§ 5-608(b) establishes a minimum 10-year sentence for a second violation of §§ 5-602 to 5-606 involving Schedule I or II narcotic drugs, including conspiracy convictions.

§ 5-608(c) sets a minimum 25-year sentence for a third violation of §§ 5-602 to 5-606 involving Schedule I or II narcotic drugs, including conspiracy convictions.

§ 5-608(d) mandates a minimum 40-year sentence for a fourth violation of §§ 5-602 to 5-606 involving Schedule I or II narcotic drugs, including conspiracy convictions.

§ 5-613 establishes a minimum 20-year sentence for individuals designated as “Drug kingpins” – organizers, supervisors, financiers, or managers who participate in a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or transport controlled dangerous substances as defined in § 5-612.

Drug Conspiracies and Drug Kingpins

Maryland’s drug laws pertaining to trafficking and distribution of controlled substances are particularly severe for defendants accused of being “drug kingpins.” A drug kingpin is someone involved in a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or transport controlled dangerous substances, acting as an organizer, supervisor, financier, or manager.

If you are facing drug conspiracy or drug kingpin charges, it is crucial to have experienced representation to mount the best possible defense. An experienced Maryland conspiracy defense lawyer can provide the necessary guidance and advocacy in such cases.

Other Types of Criminal Conspiracy

Apart from drug-related conspiracies, alleged gang members can face other types of criminal conspiracy charges. These may include conspiring to possess a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, conspiring to distribute illegal firearms, participating in a racketeering conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering. Essentially, if an individual is associated with an organization involved in illegal activities, they may be charged with conspiracy related to those activities.

Criminal conspiracy charges are not limited to organized groups. Even a group of friends or relatives discussing the commission of a crime, even as a joke, can face charges if one member carries out the discussed crime. It is crucial for all members of such a group, regardless of their awareness or involvement, to seek the services of an experienced Maryland conspiracy lawyer.