Learn about Conspiracy Charges and what to do about themConspiracy charges, while they don’t occur anywhere near as often as most other crimes, have a pretty broad definition. It does not always include an act against the government, which is generally the stereotype with these charges. The simple definition of conspiracy is fairly easy to understand, with several factors that need to be met in order to consider conspiracy charges.
Basic requirements of conspiracy charges
- Two or more people get together and form a plan to commit a crime
- An act has to be completed that would be for that crime
- The intent and decision of committing the crime must be present among those involved
Examples of conspiracy chargesWith such a broad, yet simple explanation, it may be easier to understand with a few examples. One example may be that three college kids talk about, and decide, to burn down their school. One of the kids buys some kerosene and other supplies needed to set the school on fire. That is all it takes for conspiracy charges to be met. Any member in the group can commit any action towards the crime, and all members can be charged with the conspiracy even if the crime was never committed. The act towards the crime does not even have to be a crime, but it is evidence of the crime being planned and that gives proof to the conspiracy. The punishment imposed for conspiracy charges can also vary greatly, depending on the crime being conspired.
How to defend against conspiracy chargesThere has to be substantial evidence in order for conspiracy charges to really stick. There may be plenty of opportunity to discredit such charges with several legal defenses:
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- That you removed yourself as a member of the conspiracy
- That there never was an actual agreement
- That there was no action taken towards the crime (ie. buying the kerosene)
- “Mistake of Law” – when you really didn’t believe you were committing a crime
- That you were falsely accused, meaning the conspiracy was a false accusation