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What is a conspiracy to commit a crime?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Committing a crime will obviously have consequences if caught. Yet, what some people do not realize is that merely planning to commit a crime could also lead to criminal charges in some cases.

Conspiracy to commit a crime is a criminal charge the prosecution may bring against someone who did not go through with a crime but had made advanced plans to do so. It allows them to charge people who have not gotten around to committing the crime yet, those who had second thoughts at the last minute or were unable to proceed for other reasons.

You do not need to have committed a substantive act 

People often believe they cannot be charged because they did not break the law. This is incorrect. Here is how conspiracy works:

You can’t conspire alone

A charge of conspiracy requires at least two people. So, if you acted or planned alone then it cannot apply.

There must have been intent

You must have set out to do something illegal. So, if you were unaware what you were getting involved in was against the law, conspiracy should not apply to you.

An action must have been taken

You, or one of your alleged co-conspirators must have taken an “overt action” to advance the planned crime. If you just sat and talked about it, then the charge should not apply. Eligible actions could include, buying a gun for a robbery, scoping out a house to rob or following someone to learn about their routine and see where is the best place to attack them.

Conspiracy charges are not something to take lightly. If found guilty you could still face stiff punishment, even though you did not actually break the law. Taking legal guidance will be essential to protect your rights.



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