Criminal conspiracy generally refers to an agreement by two or more people to execute a crime sometime in the future. Conspiracy can be charged whether or not any criminal act has actually occurred.
In most cases, conspiracy can only be prosecuted once an overt act has occurred. An overt act is generally defined as any action, whether criminal or not, that would be necessary for the crime to be completed, such as renting a car to use as a getaway vehicle in a robbery.
If you or someone you know has been charged with criminal conspiracy, you can discuss your case with a local criminal defense attorney. Together, you can learn about the laws that may affect your case and develop a legal strategy.
Find a criminal lawyer near you ‒ simply fill out our free case evaluation form or call 877-445-1059.
What is Conspiracy?
Any time two or more people plan to commit a crime, a conspiracy has taken place. Generally, anyone who joins the scheme can also be charged with conspiracy, whether or not they were involved in planning it.
Conspiracy can be charged to any and all parties involved, whether or not their role in the crime is known or if other conspirators’ identities are known. It is possible for one person to face conspiracy charges.
Often, prosecutors may charge conspiracy if the suspects are arrested before the crime was committed, or if the crime has been committed but the case is weak.
Conspiracy may also be charged against a criminal ring-leader who has others perform illegal actions, such as a drug trafficker who has a driver transport drugs across state lines. Both could be charged with conspiracy.
Elements of Conspiracy
Generally, any time two or more people agree to commit a criminal act, a conspiracy has taken place.
One element of conspiracy is that the individual roles in the crime do not need to be proven. If two people conspire to murder a person, and the murder is carried out, both are equally guilty of conspiracy, regardless of who pulled the trigger.
A second element is that a crime does not need to be committed for conspiracy to exist. Conspiracy can apply when a legal action is taken to further an illegal goal, or when an illegal action is taken for a legal goal.
Discuss Conspiracy with a Criminal Defense Attorney
Conspiracy charges are often as serious as the planned crimes. Conspiracy trials often get a lot of attention from the media and the public. The prosecution may try to turn co-conspirators against one another. Obviously, the whole ordeal can be overwhelming.
Let a criminal defense attorney review the charges against you. Together, you can explore the legal system, and your options in fighting the charges against you.
Find a lawyer in your area – simply fill out our free online case evaluation form or call 877-445-1059. We’ll connect you with a local criminal defense attorney right away.
The above summary of conspiracy is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. For the latest information on conspiracy laws, speak to a local criminal defense lawyer in your state.