Conspiracy in the state of California in accordance with Penal Code Section 182 occurs when an agreement exists between two or more individuals to commit a crime. It is important for people who are charged with this offense to understand that conspiracy is a separate offense from the crime that is involved. Even if the crime that was planned did not occur, a person can still be charged with conspiracy. Another unique element of conspiracy charges is that they can be initiated against a person in either federal or state court. Conspiracy can also be classified as either a felony or misdemeanor. No matter the exact details surrounding the conspiracy charges against a person, it is essential that individuals in this situation obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
As previously mentioned, conspiracy arises when two or more individuals agree to commit a crime. To satisfy a conspiracy charge, at least one individual must commit an overt act to take steps in the commission of the crime. This overt act must occur after it has been agreed to commit the crime. While the overt act can be an agreement to commit the crime, the act does not have to be criminal in nature. It is also not required that the individuals who agree to commit a crime personally know one another's identity.
Lastly, California law specifically prohibits certain types of conspiracies including conspiracy to cheat and defraud another individual of their property, conspiracy to commit an act that harms the public, conspiracy to commit a crime against a public official, conspiracy to falsely and maliciously get another person arrested, and conspiracy to falsely move any legal proceeding.
A person can end up facing charges both related to an offense as well as conspiracy. In some situations, a person might be found not guilty of the crime in question but guilty of conspiracy. It is important to understand that a person who is charged with conspiracy will end up facing the same penalties as if he or she had committed the actual crime. This means that being charged with both conspiracy and the crime itself can result in a person facing very serious penalties. It is also important to understand that a person can end up facing any of the criminal charges that relate to acts that other people involved in the conspiracy committed during the commission of the crime. Most acts of conspiracy (with the exception of committing a crime against a public official) result in a person facing up to three years in prison.
If you are charged with conspiracy, it is critical to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At RP Defense Law, our legal counsel knows what it takes to make sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner. Contact our law office today to schedule an initial free consultation, during which time our legal counsel will evaluate the evidence against you and review your possible defenses.