Conspiracy is committed when someone enters an agreement with another person to commit a crime and one of the involved parties acts upon the agreement to continue this crime.
Find a complete guide about conspiracy crimes in California through the expertise of our Orange County defense attorneys. Read about:
1. What Is Defined as Conspiracy
2. The Elements of Conspiracy
3. Conspiracy Non-Factors
4. The Types of Conspiracy
5. Penalties for Conspiracy
6. Top Defenses for This Crime
The Elements of Conspiracy
- An accused went into an agreement with another to plan a crime
- One person in the agreement took action in order to carry out the crime
- The agreement took place in the State of California
What’s Not Required in Conspiracy Charges:
Knowing Other Conspirators – There is no requirement that co-conspirators know each other. The prosecution team is concerned with the above elements of the crime. In addition, the penalties vary based on the type of conspiracy in question.
An Official Agreement – A verbal agreement to commit a crime counts as a conspiracy
Completing the Crime – There is no requirement in conspiracy charges that the planned
crime is completed
Non-Criminal Action Plan – If the co-conspirators took further action to realize the plan,
and this action was non-criminal, it still counts as a conspiracy.
Types of Conspiracy
There are six types recognized by this California penal code, including:
1. Conspiracy to commit a crime
2. Conspiracy to defraud someone’s money or possessions
3. Conspiracy against a Government Official
4. Conspiracy to start or continue a deceitful lawsuit
5. Conspiracy to accuse someone of a crime
6. Conspiracy to impede justice or thwart public welfare
Penalties for Conspiracy in California
Conspiracy may be penalized as:
- 16 months, two or three years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Up to 1 Year in Jail
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Conspiracy against a Government Official is a felony punishable by 5, 7 or 9 years in
Conspiracy to commit identity theft is penalized by an increase in fines – up to
Conspiracy is a crime of moral turpitude, which means that non U.S. citizens may
Conspirators may be convicted of the core crime that was planned in addition to
Conspiracy to murder someone else will result in first-degree murder charges
Top Defenses for Conspiracy
A criminal defense attorney in conspiracy cases can help to prove that:
- The defendant had no prior agreement with another person, or that there was no conspiracy
- The defendant and the other party took no further actions to initiate or complete the conspiracy
- The defendant decided to pull out of the agreement
- The defendant was falsely accused
More Information Regarding California Conspiracy
Refer to California’s Legislative Information for California Penal Code 189 which reads:
“If two or more persons conspire:
(1) To commit any crime.
(2) Falsely and maliciously to indict another for any crime, or to procure another to be charged or arrested for any crime.
(3) Falsely to move or maintain any suit, action, or proceeding.
(4) To cheat and defraud any person of any property, by any means which are in themselves criminal, or to obtain money or property by false pretenses or by false promises with fraudulent intent not to perform those promises.
(5) To commit any act injurious to the public health, to public morals, or to pervert or obstruct justice, or the due administration of the laws.
(6) To commit any crime against the person of the President or Vice President of the United States, the Governor of any state or territory, any United States justice or judge, or the secretary of any of the executive departments of the United States.
They are punishable as follows:
When they conspire to commit any crime against the person of any official specified in paragraph (6), they are guilty of a felony and are punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for five, seven, or nine years.
When they conspire to commit any other felony, they shall be punishable in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided for the punishment of that felony. If the felony is one for which different punishments are prescribed for different degrees, the jury or court which finds the defendant guilty thereof shall determine the degree of the felony the defendant conspired to commit. If the degree is not so determined, the punishment for conspiracy to commit the felony shall be that prescribed for the lesser degree, except
in the case of conspiracy to commit murder, in which case the punishment shall be that prescribed for murder in the first degree.
If the felony is conspiracy to commit two or more felonies which have different punishments and the commission of those felonies constitute but one offense of conspiracy, the penalty shall be that prescribed for the felony which has the greater maximum term.
When they conspire to do an act described in paragraph (4), they shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
When they conspire to do any of the other acts described in this section, they shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000),
or by both that imprisonment and fine. When they receive a felony conviction for conspiring to commit identity theft, as defined in Section 530.5, the court may impose a fine of up to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).
All cases of conspiracy may be prosecuted and tried in the superior court of any county in which any overt act tending to effect the conspiracy shall be done.
(b) Upon a trial for conspiracy, in a case where an overt act is necessary to constitute the offense, the defendant cannot be convicted unless one or more overt acts are expressly alleged in the indictment or information, nor unless one of the acts alleged is proved; but
other overt acts not alleged may be given in evidence.”
How to Fight Conspiracy Charges in California
Co-conspirators may face severe penalties for planning a crime. MacGregor and Collins is here to help those accused of conspiracy with the best defense. Call us today at (888) 250-2865.