Have you been arrested for your alleged connection to a crime in Los Angeles? Are you facing criminal charges for conspiracy? If so, do not hesitate to contact The Rodriguez Law Group to find out how we can help to minimize the consequences of your criminal case. A conviction for conspiracy will turn your life upside-down, putting you at risk of going to jail and burdening you with a criminal record for the rest of your life. Los Angeles conspiracy attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez is a former prosectur with over 18 years experience. He can help you get the best possible outcome in your criminal conspiracy case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our outstanding legal team.
What is Conspiracy?
A conspiracy occurs when two or more people agree to commit a criminal act and actions are taken to further that crime.
Conspiracy, as defined in California Penal Code 182 PC, occurs when:
- You agree with another person to commit a crime;
- You intend that this crime will actually be committed; and
- At least one of your co-conspirators commits an overt act in furtherance of that crime.
It is important to know that you can be charged with the crime of conspiracy even if a crime is never actually committed. As long as one of your co-conspirators takes an overt action in the furtherance of the crime, you can face charges for conspiracy.
An overt action is something that is done “to help accomplish the agreed upon crime,” and must be more than simply agreeing to or planning the crime. Interestingly, the overt act does not have to be illegal. Rather, it can be something as simple as making a phone call or buying a tool, if that action would help to commit the crime. In order to be convicted of conspiracy, this overt act must take place after you have agreed to commit the crime.
To recap, you can be charged with the crime of conspiracy in any of the following situations:
- You agree to commit a crime and one of your co-conspirators commits that crime.
- You agree to commit a crime and an overt act is taken in furtherance of that crime.
- You agree to commit a crime and that crime is successfully committed at some point in time.
Examples of Conspiracy
Conspiracy is a broadly applicable criminal offense. Participation in any criminal conspiracy can result in charges under Penal Code 182 PC. Sometimes examples of when a conspiracy may exist can be helpful in understanding this complicated crime. The following scenarios could result in criminal charges for conspiracy:
- Agreeing to commit a robbery and legally buying a handgun to commit the crime.
- Agreeing to commit a burglary and driving by a target home to canvass the area.
- Agreeing to help your friend commit a murder and driving the getaway car after the offense.
- Agreeing to sell used motorboats as new and placing a fraudulent ad in a local newspaper.
Penalties for Conspiracy
Conspiracy can be a misdemeanor or a felony offense. The penalties you face for your participation in a criminal conspiracy will depend on the crime you conspired to commit. The more serious the underlying offense, the harsher the criminal penalties you will face for conspiracy.
Underlying Offense Is a Misdemeanor: In most cases, if you were involved in a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, you will face the criminal charges related to that misdemeanor offense. In some cases, if your conduct was particularly harmful or serious, you can be charged with felony conspiracy for committing a misdemeanor crime.
Underlying Offense is a Felony: If, on the other hand, you conspired to commit a felony, you would face criminal charges related to that felony offense. In some cases, you may be charged with conspiring to commit multiple crimes. If this is the case, your penalty will be linked to the most serious crime you are accused of committing.
Defenses to Conspiracy
In order to convict you on charges of criminal conspiracy, the state must be able to prove that you are guilty of each element of the offense. If they cannot prove each of the essential elements of the crime, as described above, you cannot be convicted of conspiracy. You can increase your chances of a successful outcome by hiring an experienced Los Angeles conspiracy attorney to defend you. An attorney will argue any defense that may cast doubt on your guilt, including:
- No agreement to commit a crime existed;
- There was no true intent for a crime to be committed;
- No overt act was taken in furtherance of the crime;
- You withdrew from the criminal conspiracy;
- No overt act or crime occurred in California;
- There has been no violation of the law;
- You are married to your co-conspirator;
- You have been falsely accused; or
- Your Constitutional rights have been violated.
Crimes Related to Conspiracy
There are some crimes in California that are similar to, but slightly different from, conspiracy. In some cases, you may be charged with these crimes in addition to the crime of conspiracy. Each of these California criminal offenses carries their own specific penalties and consequences.
Aiding and Abetting: You can be charged with aiding and abetting under Penal Code 31 PC if you intentionally facilitate, encourage, promote, or instigate a criminal act.
Accessory After the Fact: You can be charged with accessory after the fact under Penal Code 32 PC if you harbor, conceal, or aid someone that you know has committed a felony in order to help them.
Gang-Related Activity: You can be punished for participating in gang activity under Penal Code 186.22 PC if you knowingly and intentionally engage in criminal activity to promote, further, help, or benefit that gang.
Experienced Los Angeles Conspiracy Attorney
Are you facing criminal charges for conspiracy in Los Angeles? A conviction can have serious and lifelong consequences, so it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as you can. At The Rodriguez Law Group, our attorneys know that the prosecution will have a difficult time building a strong case against you.
We will investigate your alleged crime and use the information we find to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you minimize the consequences of your Los Angeles criminal conspiracy case.