What Constitutes Conspiracy To Commit An Offense Under NJ Law?
In order to be convicted for conspiracy to commit a specific criminal offense, there must be an agreement between two or more persons to:
- Commit, solicit or attempt to commit a crime; OR
- Aid in the planning, attempt, solicitation, or commission of a crime.
In addition to the existence of an agreement, the accused must engage in an “overt act” to further the object of the conspiracy. What this means is that he/she must take some affirmative step of some kind to facilitate the commission of the offense. The final requirement of the charge of conspiracy is that the actions of the defendant be intentional, that is, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating a crime. Provided these elements are present, the accused is responsible for any crimes committed during the course of the conspiracy that are a reasonably foreseeable consequence.
Conspiracy: Degree of Crime & Penalties
The severity of a conspiracy charge is determined by the grade of the crime sought to be committed. The reason is because a conspiracy offense carries the same penalties and degree of crime as the most serious crime that it is the object of the conspiracy — the underlying offense that the participants are trying to commit. There is an exception to this rule, however, where the object is a first degree crime, in which case conspiracy is a second degree crime. Conspiracy remains a first degree crime where the offense is conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to engage in terrorism, or conspiracy to commit human trafficking.
Newark NJ Conspiracy Offense Defense Lawyers
As you can see, a conspiracy charge has the potential to result in some severe consequences, especially where the object of an agreement is a robbery, distribution of drugs, money laundering, or even murder. Minimally, this offense typically involves a third degree crime carry up to 5 years in prison and fines that can reach $15,000. It is very important for someone charged with a conspiracy to retain experienced counsel to design an effective strategy to avoid a conviction, jail, etc. This is the object of our Newark Defense Lawyers in every conspiracy case in which we are retained. Call us now for immediate assistance.