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California Conspiracy Charges
What is conspiracy?
An agreement between one or more people to commit a crime where one of the people involved in the conspiracy commits an overt act in furtherance of the unlawful agreement.
What is an overt act?
The act done to help accomplish the agreed upon crime after the agreement to commit the crime has been made but before the crime is actually completed.
What is required of an overt act?
It can be committed by any of the people involved in the conspiracy, the act just needs to have occurred before the actual commission of the offense.
Does the overt act have to be criminal?
No the overt act does not necessarily have to be a criminal act, it can be a lawful overt act.
How can criminal conspiracies be charged?
Criminal conspiracy can either be charged as a wobbler offense or as a felony.
What determines how criminal conspiracies are charged?
The determination depends on the underlying offense of the conspiracy. It is important to note that the conspiracy and the underlying crime are two separate offenses. Therefore, the commission of the underlying offense is not required for a conspiracy charge.
What does this mean for you?
A defendant can be found equally guilty for the ultimate offense as a conspirator, if there was an unlawful agreement and an overt act in furtherance of such agreement occurred.
What is the natural and probable consequences theory?
The natural and probable consequences theory allows the prosecution to impute liability for the secondary crime committed due to the forces set into motion in furtherance of the first or “target” offense.
What defenses exist for criminal conspiracy?
The fact that no actual agreement ever took place or that no overt act occurred can both be possible defenses to criminal conspiracy. If there is no evidence of an original design or common plot between the defendant and the perpetrators of the underlying offense, then there can be no liability on the part of the defendant for the actions of third parties.
Moreover, a defendant may escape liability if he or she withdrew from the conspiracy at any time before the commission of the offense or if the defendant operated under a mistake of the law or was falsely accused.
Who should you contact?
Contact Monder Law Group, our attorneys will look at the specifics of your case to see if a connection in fact exists between your actions and some action on the part of a third party. There must be more than a fleeting relationship to the actions originally put into motion. Know your options by allowing us the opportunity to review your case and explain which is the best defense for you.
If you have any questions about California Conspiracy Charges contact San Diego Attorney Vik Monder at 619.405.0063 or visit San Diego Criminal Defense