Conspiracy is a very serious offence and one that can only be heard in the crown court.
If a person is convicted of conspiracy they can usually expect to receive a substantial prison sentence, so it is vital to seek advice from an experienced solicitor at the first possible opportunity.
We have many years experience in defending conspiracy charges including conspiracies to burgle/steal, to supply/import drugs, to commit threats to kill and to facilitate illegal immigration.
Understanding conspiracy offences
Although conspiracy is often linked to organised crime, a conspiracy is quite simply an agreement between two or more people to commit a criminal offence where there is an intention to carry out the unlawful act. It doesn’t matter if they never act upon that agreement; repentance, lack of opportunity or failure are all immaterial to the commission of the offence.
Two people cannot be guilty of conspiracy if the only other person in the plan is the first person’s wife, husband or partner, or if they are a child, or an intended victim of the offence.
Often a charge for conspiracy will be brought because the planned offence was never committed but sometimes a conspiracy charge will be brought if there is a lack of evidence to prove the substantive offence.
The prosecution must show that the conspirators agreed on a course of conduct involving an act or omission by at least one of them which is prohibited by the criminal law, knowing or intending that a criminal act will be taking place as part of the course of conduct or as part of the agreement. As such agreements are often verbal it can be difficult to find reliable evidence to prove a conspiracy.