If you are facing criminal charges for drug crimes, theft, assault, murder or other serious offenses, it may come as another difficult blow if you learn that authorities are also charging you with conspiracy to commit some underlying offense. Conspiracy is a separate offense. Moreover, it may be easier for the government to prove the crime of conspiracy against you rather than the underlying attempted or completed offense.
Because of that it is not wise to disregard any allegations of conspiracy without giving them proper consideration during the building of your defense strategy.
The 3 elements that comprise a conspiracy
The charge of conspiracy to commit a crime means authorities believe you and at least one other person planned to commit a crime and then took some action towards accomplishing the objective or goal of the agreement. In order to convict you for conspiracy, officials must be able to prove you have done all of three of the following:
- Stated or implied that you agreed with the plan to go through with a crime, either formally or informally, by your words or actions;
- Moved forward with the plans in some way, such as purchasing a weapon or meeting with others involved in the alleged crime; and
- Intended to accomplish the objective of the plan or agreement.
You do not have to have a formal pact or even a verbal agreement to face conspiracy charges, although merely talking about a potential crime is not necessarily conspiracy. However, authorities may draw the conclusion that you conspired with others to commit a crime based on the circumstances of your association with those people and any subsequent and overt actions they believe you took to fulfill the plan. If no actions follow the discussion, it will be difficult to prove you intended to follow through with the crime.