If you or a loved one has recently been charged with conspiracy in our area, you should consult with an Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately. Being charged with conspiracy is a serious crime.
Generally, a conspiracy is an agreement formed by two or more persons to commit a crime. It is a specific intent crime which means that the defendant must have had the intention to commit an illegal act. Many residents are unaware that even agreeing to commit a crime is almost enough be convicted for the crime of conspiracy—this is true even if the underlying crime never takes place. For example, say John and Jane decide rob a bank. John enters into the bank a day before the planned robbery to count the number of security officers the bank has on duty. Even if Jane is caught at that moment, both she and John might be charged with conspiracy. Fighting these charges is difficult, so you will need experienced representation from a criminal defense attorney to mount a strong defense.
What is California Conspiracy Law?
In the state of California, conspiracy laws are codified in the California Penal Code 182 – 185. Under California law, a conspiracy can be committed when two or more persons agree to commit a crime and when one of the parties commits an overt act in furtherance of the underlying offense. Further, it is irrelevant if either party knows the identity of other parties involved in the conspiracy in order to be convicted.
What are the possible punishments for Conspiracy?
Not only is conspiracy a California crime, but it is also a federal crime. Depending on the facts in your case, the prosecutor can charge you with a felony or misdemeanor. Felonies are more serious offenses which include stiffer penalties. Generally, punishment for this offense can range from fines to serving a lengthy prison sentence. In a conspiracy case, punishment is determined on the basis of the underlying offense that was planned, i.e. burglary, robbery, murder, etc.
Like most American jurisdictions, conspiracy is an independent offense in California. This means you could be convicted of conspiracy and the underlying offense at the same time. For example, in the bank robbery scenario, if John and Jane complete the robbery, both could be convicted for conspiring to commit a robbery and the crime of robbery itself.
What defenses can I assert to fight the charges?
Our criminal defense attorney understands that many community members are under immense stress after being charged with one of these crimes. However, there is no need to lose hope, because there are a number of legal defenses which could be available to you to fight your charges. Some of the most common defenses include:
- You were never enter into an agreement to conspire to commit a crime
- You were falsely accused
- There was never an agreement
- You did not possess the specific intent required by law
- A mistaken identity
- You withdrew from the conspiracy
Conspiracy Defense at the Johnson Criminal Law Group
The Orange County criminal defense attorney at the Johnson Criminal Law Group provides experienced, quality legal help to all those who have been charged with conspiracy related offenses, as well as other crimes. You have a constitutional right to defend the charges which have been brought against you. It is always intimidating when you or a loved one has been charged with a crime. But it is important to remember that help is available. Please call our office today or send us a message online to explain your situation to our Orange County criminal law attorney and to see what we can do.