New York Penal Law § 105.17: Conspiracy in the first degree

If you plan with one or more other people to commit a felony then by doing so you may have already committed the crime of conspiracy. The crime of conspiracy involves the planning of a crime with at least one other person. There are 6 conspiracy crimes in the New York criminal code including specific offenses that address an adult conspiring with a minor to commit a felony. Under New York Penal Law § 105.17 you have committed the crime of conspiracy in the first degree if you are over 18 years old and you plan with a person who is less than 16 years old to commit a Class A felony. Examples of Class A felonies include murder in the first degree, arson in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, and operating as a major drug trafficker. In order to be convicted of conspiracy there must be more than casual conversations about committing a crime. Under New York Penal Law § 105.20 you or another party to the plan must complete at least one overt act in furtherance of the plan in order for you to be prosecuted for conspiracy.

Example

21 year old Haskell caught his girlfriend of 3 years in bed with another man. Haskell was very angry about it and threatened to kill both his girlfriend and the other man. Haskell returned home and told his little brother, 15 year old Tony, what happened. Haskell, still angry, asked Tony to help him kill his girlfriend. Jokingly, Tony agreed. Over the course of the evening as they played video games Tony and Haskell discussed several different ways that they could kill the girlfriend and get away with it. The next day Tony mentioned his discussions with Haskell to a friend at school. Worried, the friend called the police. Haskell probably could not be successfully prosecuted for conspiracy in the first degree as neither he nor Tony took any overt steps in furtherance of the plan to murder Haskell's girlfriend.

Related Offenses
  1. Conspiracy in the sixth degree: New York Penal Law § 105.00
  2. Conspiracy in the fifth degree: New York Penal Law § 105.05
  3. Conspiracy in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 105.13
  4. Conspiracy in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 105.15
Defenses

In order to successfully prosecute you for conspiracy in the first degree, the prosecutor must show evidence that you or another person involved in the conspiracy committed an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. For example, if you and your supposed co-conspirators were just talking but had not taken any other steps to toward putting the plan into action, then you could successfully challenge the first degree conspiracy charge against you.

Sentence

Along with murder in the first degree, arson in the first degree, and kidnapping in the first degree, conspiracy in the first degree is one of the few crimes in the New York criminal code that is a Class A-I felony. This means that if you are convicted your sentence could include up to life in prison.

New York Penal Law § 105.17: Conspiracy in the first degree

A person is guilty of conspiracy in the first degree when, with intent that conduct constituting a class A felony be performed, he, being over eighteen years of age, agrees with one or more persons under sixteen years of age to engage in or cause the performance of such conduct.

New York Conspiracy in the First Degree Lawyer

The charge of conspiracy in the first degree is one of the most serious charges in the New York criminal code. If you are convicted you could end up in prison for the rest of your life. However, just because you have been charged with first degree conspiracy does not mean that you will be convicted. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with crimes such as criminal facilitation, conspiracy, and solicitation as well as crimes related to theft, drugs, arson, assault, burglary, and reckless endangerment. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations:

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