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What is the Criminal Charge of Conspiracy?

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What is the Criminal Charge of Conspiracy?

Hi, this is attorney Kevin Hayslett, and the question is: what is the criminal charge of conspiracy? Now we have all heard the term conspiracy either on TV, movies, or even in book titles. Now the question is what is a criminal conspiracy and what does a person have to do to get charged with it. A criminal conspiracy believe it or not, is not committing a crime per se, it is an agreement. What does that mean? The simple definition of conspiracy is this: if two or more people agree to commit an unlawful act there is a conspiracy.

Out of those two people, one of them cannot be law enforcement. That means if one person agrees to buy a kilo of cocaine from an undercover officer, there is the defendant, the undercover officer, there is an agreement to purchase a kilo of cocaine. That person cannot be charged with conspiracy because it needs to involve two or more individuals, one of them cannot be law enforcement. However, if two or more people agree to buy a kilo of cocaine, they then enlist another person to drive the cocaine from one destination to another, the other person agrees to meet with the buyer, etc. All those people, if they are not law enforcement, can individually be charged with the agreement to commit a criminal act.

If you have an agreement for a criminal act, in most jurisdictions the criminal act need not take place. So if you have an agreement that can be proven by law enforcement, the prosecutor, to commit a criminal act such as trafficking cocaine, the buying or selling of a kilo of cocaine, there needs not be cocaine itself or the transaction need not occur if there is an agreement to the criminal act. So criminal conspiracy is an agreement, an agreement between two or more people to commit a criminal act. The crime is the agreement itself, not the ultimate offense. So in your jurisdiction if you have an agreement to commit a criminal act in your area, more likely than not the prosecutor can bring criminal charges against you under the criminal charge of conspiracy.
 

J. Kevin Hayslett

Kevin Hayslett, Esq.

J. Kevin Hayslettis an attorney practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and DUI Defense from the Clearwater office and Hillsborough office. Kevin is an avid tennis player and is currently nationally rated in singles and doubles. You can follow Kevin onGoogle+, oron Radio IO on his show, "Kevin's Law". Kevin can also be heard on the Sirius Satellite Radio show during the "Ask the Lawyer" segment, which can be heard the first Thursday of every month.