What is a Conspiracy?
The law behind a criminal conspiracy allegation can appear quite complicated. In the Supreme Court, a criminal conspiracy has been defined as “plotting and acting together to achieve evil results.” In another case, a conspiracy has been described as an “agreement to do something [criminal] where the conspirators act in concert of a common goal.”
Conspiracy cases can only occur with two or more parties being involved in an agreement to commit the offence(s). It is very common to see conspiracy charges for drug trafficking allegations since this type of illicit activity often involves multiple parties being involved in a scheme. Conspiracy is also commonly charged in relation to fraudulent schemes, murder plots, home invasions, and mischief charges (protesters, etc.).
The Unique Nature of a Conspiracy
What most people don’t understand is that a conspiracy is complete upon forming an agreement to commit an offence. The actual offence does not need to be completed for an accused person to be convicted of participating in a conspiracy.
Elements of the Offence
- Agreement of two or more persons to an unlawful act by unlawful means.
- Intention to agree, completion of the agreement, and a common design.
- Need an actual agreement between the parties.
- Intention to agree must be proved in that the parties intended to achieve a mutual criminal objective.
- Offence complete upon formation of the agreement, so even if an accused later withdraws from the conspiracy, they can still be found guilty.
In most cases, the statements of co-accused cannot be used against other co-accused parties. However, in a conspiracy case, statements made in furtherance of the conspiracy can potentially be used against other co-conspirators to prove the conspiracy.
Information about Conspiracies
Weisberg Law regularly represents clients that have never previously had dealings with the criminal justice system. If you are faced with a criminal conspiracy charge or know someone who is, our legal team is available to provide you with further information. Together, we will work relentlessly so you can rest assured that your matters receive the personalized attention they need.