What does Texas consider a criminal conspiracy?

Charges of conspiracy to commit a crime can result in additional legal consequences beyond those for the crime itself. Frequently, clients are unaware they have engaged in conspiracy by Texas law. 

Review the state’s definition of a conspiracy and the possible legal penalties when facing these charges in Texas. 

Aspects of criminal conspiracy

Texas may charge a defendant with criminal conspiracy if he or she committed or attempted to commit a felony and: 

  • Agrees to engage in the felony with at least one other person 
  • Engages in conduct that allows the inference of such an agreement 
  • Performs an overt criminal act or conspires with someone else who does. 

A person can receive criminal conspiracy charges even if he or she did not act to commit the offense in question. 

Penalty for criminal conspiracy

When a defendant receives a criminal conspiracy conviction, his or her penalty depends on the highest felony offense associated with the conspiracy. For example, check forgery is a state jail felony, the least severe felony offense in Texas. A person convicted of conspiracy to commit check forgery but not forgery itself would receive Class A misdemeanor charges, the most serious Texas misdemeanor. 

A person convicted of conspiracy to commit theft or fraud valued higher than $300,000 can receive second-degree felony charges in Texas. A convicted person could receive a fine of two to 20 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Conspiracy to commit theft or fraud of $150,000 to $300,000 can result in third-degree felony charges.