Definition and Aspects of Conspiracy:
Under California Penal Code 182 (PC 182), it is against the law to be involved in a criminal conspiracy. Conspiracy is a potential felony offense, and if convicted, can result in severe jail or prison time and expensive fines.
To be convicted of California Penal Code 182 (PC 182), the Prosecution must prove the following:
- The Defendant willingly and knowingly agreed to commit a crime with another person or persons
- The Defendant or one of the parties committed an ‘overt act’ in furtherance of this agreement
- The overt act was committed in California
For the purposes of this statute, an ‘over act’ is any action taken in order for the group to accomplish the planned crime. Under California Penal Code 182 (PC 182), the overt act must be done after the Defendant agreed on the plan. In order to be in violation of this statute, more than just the planning has to happen, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the crime itself.
An example of such an overt act could be the purchasing of the blueprint of a commercial establishment in order to complete a successful grand theft. The theft does not have to happen. The Defendant merely agreeing to the plan and participating in the purchase of the blueprint is a conspiracy on its own and is against the law.
Additionally, if the Defendant only accompanies or associates himself/herself with a member of the Conspiracy, but doesn’t actually intend to commit a crime, he/she would not be guilty of California Penal Code 182 (PC 182).
Lastly, the agreement does not need to be in writing, nor does it have to be detailed or formal for it to be considered a Conspiracy.
Criminal Offenses Related to Conspiracy:
Similar or related offenses to California Penal Code 182 (PC 182), Conspiracy:
- Aiding and Abetting – California Penal Code 31 (PC 31)
- Accessory After the Fact – California Penal Code 32 (PC 32)
- Gang Enhancement Sentencing – California Penal Code 186.22 (PC 186.22)
- Attempt – California Penal Code 664 (PC 664)
Example of Conspiracy:
A woman and her friends agree to rob a grocery store. To prepare for the act, they purchase materials to sew masks for their disguise. Under California Penal Code 182 (PC 182), the woman could already be charged with Conspiracy because she entered into an agreement to commit Burglary, and she purchased materials for the masks. Whether or not the robbery of the store was successful, the woman could be prosecuted for Conspiracy (PC 182).
Defenses to Conspiracy:
One of the requirements the Prosecution has to prove is the agreement to commit a crime. If there was no prior agreement, the Defendant couldn’t be charged with Conspiracy, California Penal Code 182 (PC 182). Keep in mind that if the Defendant actually committed a crime without a prior agreement, he/she could still be prosecuted for the violation itself. For example, if the Defendant walked into the grocery store to rob it with his/her friends, Burglary charges would still apply. However, the Defendant could not be charged with Conspiracy to commit Burglary, as it wasn’t previously planned, and the overt act did not happen.
Another requirement for a crime to be considered a Conspiracy is the overt act. If the Defendant agreed to commit a crime with a group, but there was no further action taken, the Defendant wouldn’t be guilty of Conspiracy, California Penal Code 182 (PC 182). In the grocery example above, if the woman agrees to rob the store but does not go on to purchase the materials for the masks or takes any further action, she couldn’t be charged with Conspiracy (PC 182).
In another possible scenario, the Defendant entered into an agreement but withdrew right after. Meanwhile, the rest of the group committed to the overt act, without the participation of the Defendant. The charges against the Defendant could be dropped, as he/she did not participate further. Going on with the previous example, if the woman agreed to rob the grocery store with her friends but decided not to purchase the mask materials, she would be exempt from the charges. Even if her friends went on to sew the masks and robbed the store, for the Defendant in question, without the overt act, there is no Conspiracy (PC 182).
Lastly, since Conspiracy can be related to a wide array of crimes, false accusations are quite common. If someone is accused of a crime in the heat of the moment, it is often appealing to attempt to pin it on someone else. In this situation, a Defendant would not be guilty of agreeing to commit a crime or taking overt action but is blamed for doing so by a participant. An effective Defense Attorney could help an accused get out of the Conspiracy (PC 182) charges.
Consequences and Penalty for Conspiracy:
California Penal Code 182 (PC 182), Conspiracy to commit a felony is a felony offense. The punishment is whatever the penalty of the underlying felony would be. If the Defendant is convicted of Conspiracy to commit assault with a deadly weapon, he/she will face the punishments for that charge, which is a prison sentence of up to four years and severe fines.
If the Defendant is convicted of conspiring to commit more than one felony, the punishment is the most severe sentence of the list of crimes.
Conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor is a ‘wobbler’ offense under California Penal Code 182 (PC 182). A wobbler means that it can either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the details of the crime and the history of the Defendant. A misdemeanor offense is punishable with substantial fines and imprisonment.
California Penal Code 182 (PC 182) can also affect the convicted person’s immigration rights. A non-citizen might get deported or be considered inadmissible.
On the other hand, depending on the details of the offense, California Penal Code 182 (PC 182) can be expunged. If the convicted person can prove that he/she completed probation time and complied with all jail terms and fines, an experienced Defense Attorney could help get the offense expunged from the Defendant’s record.
Conspiracy, under California Penal Code 182 (PC 182), is a felony offense that can result in jail time and severe fines. It is essential that if you or someone you know is charged with Conspiracy, you contact an expert attorney as soon as possible.
For an experienced attorney on your side, Action Lavitch from Action Defense Lawyers is available 24/7 at (747) DEFEND U or (747) 333-3638. With a proven track record of defending against felony charges and speaking both English and Spanish, Action Lavitch and the team from Action Defense Lawyers provide skilled legal representation and professional advice. Having an above 90% success rate for clients, Action Defense Lawyers is the go-to for those charged with California Penal Code 182 (PC 182), Conspiracy. Book a free consultation today.