Conspiracy to commit a criminal act is a crime in the State of California. When several people get together to plan the commission of a crime, it is possible to charge all involved. There are several elements needed to prove a conspiracy:
- an agreement between individuals
- to commit some sort of criminal act
- with an action step by one individual towards achieving the goal of the conspiracy plan
It is important to note that the goal of the conspiracy does not need to be accomplished in order for you and those involved to be charged with conspiracy. Once one of the individuals takes a step in accordance with the plan, you can be charged.
An example would be conspiring to embezzle funds from the company you work for or plotting to set fire to your home for the insurance money.
Penalties for Conspiracy
There are several possible charges for conspiracy with varying punishments:
- Conspiracy to commit fraud can be either a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor can be punishable by 1 year in jail. A felony may be punishable by 3 years in prison.
- Conspiracy against a government official is a felony punishable by up to 9 years in prison.
- Conspiracy to commit murder (or if executing the plan ends up in someone dying) you are punished equivalent to first-degree murder.
A qualified criminal defense attorney will be able to help you better understand the complexities of criminal conspiracy. If you find yourself under investigation for conspiracy, contact a lawyer immediately.