Criminal conspiracy is a criminal offense that involves two or more people who plan to commit a felony crime. If someone is suspected of planning a crime, they can be charged with conspiracy even if they did not participate in the actual commission of the crime. Charges for “intent crimes” can apply if someone is found guilty of conspiring to commit a crime even if the crime did not take place.
Conspiracy Commitment Law
There are certain steps that the prosecuting attorney must take to convict someone of orchestrating a crime. First, the prosecution must prove that the alleged conspirators made an actual agreement to work in cooperation with the goal of committing a felony.
Next, the prosecution must show that some of the conspirators were engaged in moving forward with their plan. Not all members of the conspiracy have to carry out the crime in order to violate crime commitment law. If someone agrees to help commit a crime but then does not take any further action, they may still be charged.
For example, if three people decide to cooperate and break into a neighbor’s house and steal money or valuables, they have entered into a criminal agreement. If they choose a time to commit the burglary, they have engaged in planning a crime.
If one member of the group breaks into the neighbor’s house and steals valuables while another member stands outside to keep watch and the third member stays home, they can all be charged. Even the member who stayed home can be found guilty of intent crimes because they agreed to engage in planning a crime.
Punishments for Conspiracy
The length of a sentence for violating conspiracy law depends on the crime that was planned or committed. A judge may assign different levels of punishment based on the degree to which a person was involved in the crime.
A penalty category one level below the category of the crime committed can be used for violations of crime commitment law. If a group conspires to commit first-degree felony theft, they can be charged with second-degree felony conspiracy.