If you conspire to commit a crime, you can be charged with conspiracy, whether the crime takes place or not. Learn more about the conspiracy charge here.
What is Conspiracy?
Conspiracy is of the same grade and degree as the most serious offense that is the object of this offense. Thus, conspiring to commit a Class B felony, means you face Class B felony penalties. An exception is conspiring to commit a Class A felony, which is a Class B felony.
A person is guilty of this crime in the state of Connecticut when such person with intent that a crime is performed agrees with one or more persons to engage in or cause the performance of such conduct and any one of them commits an overt act.
Important Information About This Crime in Connecticut
You can be convicted of both the principal crime, such as robbery, and get convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and get sentenced to prison for both crimes. 107 Conn. App. 164. Acts as opposed to words can be sufficient to establish a conspiracy. 38 Conn. Supp. 374. You can be guilty of any and all acts of your co-conspirators if those acts are in furtherance of the conspiracy, even if you do not explicitly agree to the acts. This is because a conspiracy is an on-going and continuous offense. This is known as Pinkerton liability and is based on a decision by the Supreme Court. 1 Conn. App. 524.
Notice that there must be an agreement to commit a crime. Therefore, you may have a defense if you can prove that the other person did not agree to commit the crime. Specifically, if the other individual is a undercover officer or cooperating witness, this could provide a defense. There is no such thing as the crime of conspiracy to commit manslaughter. 274 Conn. 134.
Renunciation of a Conspiracy
Renunciation is a defense to the charge of conspiracy. This happens when someone, after conspiring to commit a crime, thwarts the success of the conspiracy. This renunciation must be made under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of the criminal purpose.
Motivation as Defense
A renunciation is not voluntary if the renunciation is motivated in whole or in part by circumstances that were not present or apparent at the inception of the conspiracy that increases the possibility of detection or apprehension. Renunciation is also not complete if it is motivated by a decision to postpone the criminal conduct or to transfer the criminal conduct to another but similar objective or victim.
If you have further questions about the different types of this crime and what a conspiracy charge would mean for you, you should get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can help you make the right decision for your situation.