After an arrest, you may wonder what exactly what facing complicity or conspiracy charges means.
Learning about the elements of these terms can help you get a clearer understanding of both crimes.
According to the Penal Code of Texas, complicity means aiding someone in a crime in any direct or indirect manner. You do not have to personally commit a crime to be guilty of breaking the law. You are complicit if you give help or counsel in some form, such as providing sensitive information to help someone else carry out an illegal operation.
Conspiracy, which refers to when two or more people actively collude in secret, requires active planning. A conspiracy charge means you plotted to involve yourself in illegal acts at some point in the future. Failing to take any action to prevent a crime that you know you can stop shows complicity, but not conspiracy.
Encouragement towards crime is also part of complicity. However, this is only true if you give approval knowingly, meaning that you had full understanding of what was occurring. Being a getaway driver or aiding and abetting a robbery by switching off alarms in a building are both included in this definition.
Even if a crime did not occur but you actively engaged in unlawful or illegal planning for one, you may be guilty of conspiracy. The law separates the actuality of what occurred from plans you had for future crimes, but both the planning and the actual action are illegal.
The severity of the crime can impact the sentence you receive. In some cases, one party is wrongly accused of aiding and abetting another but is actually innocent. Using nuance while examining how complicit you were in a crime may lead to a lesser sentence.