Brent M. Brumley | Attorney At Law
Brent M. Brumley | Attorney At Law
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The 5 key elements of criminal conspiracy

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2024 | Criminal Law |

If you face criminal charges, the burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are guilty. If they cannot do this, a judge and/or jury should send you away with your freedom intact.

When it comes to charges of conspiracy, the prosecution needs to prove five specific things were true. If they can only prove four or three, they do not have a viable case.

There was more than one of you

One person alone cannot commit a conspiracy. It’s two minimum.

It was intentional

You cannot accidentally conspire to commit a crime. The intention needs to have been there.

There was an agreement

You don’t need to have made a written pact, but there does need to have been an agreement. If one party suggested something, but the other was still in two minds, there was no conspiracy.

There would have been a violation of the law

Agreeing to do something legal is not a crime. The thing you intended to do must have been illegal.

There was an action after the agreement

Talking about committing a crime is not a crime. It only becomes a conspiracy once you have taken the first action. For example, if two people agreed to commit a robbery, securing a gun to use in service of the plan could count as the first action to justify conspiracy charges. If you already owned a gun before you agreed to commit the crime together, then the prosecution would need to prove you took another action after the agreement had been made. For instance, downloading plans of the building you intended to assault.

Defending against criminal conspiracy charges is a complex effort, so it’s wise to get help if you are in that situation.