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Matthew Radefeld & Dan Juengel
Matthew A. Radefeld and Daniel A. Juengel

How is criminal conspiracy defined?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2018 | Criminal Law |

Conspiracy theories are interesting: Criminal conspiracies are not. 

A criminal conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. Money laundering, drug and weapon manufacturing are all examples of conspiracies that violate federal laws. Conspiracy theories are interesting: Criminal conspiracies are not. 

What defines criminal conspiracy?

Intent is key element when it comes to a conspiracy charge. Many people can be involved in a criminal conspiracy without committing a criminal act. The person or people charged for the conspiracy are the ones who know of the plan and had intention to break the law.

For example, three people decide to rob a bank together. They have meetings, combine funds and set up a plan to rob the bank. They may have never robbed the bank. However, they can still face charges if law enforcement uncovers their plans.

There are usually two basic requirements when a person is charged for criminal conspiracy, which include:

  • The agreement. Two or more individuals made an agreement. This agreement does not necessarily need to be spoken, but shown. The actions made by each person provide enough evidence for most agreements. Regardless, association with people committing a crime doesn’t always mean they are involved.
  • The intent. As earlier stated, intent means everything. This is true for all parties involved in a conspiracy. Each person will have the intent to achieve a particular outcome. While knowing of a plan doesn’t always result in a charge, an intent to help in the act oftentimes will.

Penalties for criminal conspiracy

A conspiracy conviction comes with a range of penalties, some more severe than others. In addition to punishment for the conspiracy, the court also factors in the other crimes involved. Therefore, the person convicted may have to suffer multiple penalties.

If you have been charged with criminal conspiracy, finding the right legal representation is paramount. You don’t want to face five years in prison for a crime you did not commit. Be sure to contact an experienced lawyer immediately after a charge.