What is Conspiracy?
Conspiracy is defined as an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime with the shared intent that the crime be committed. Conspiracy is separate and distinct crime that is most often charged in connection with the conspired target offense. For example, if someone is alleged to have engaged in drug distribution involving more than one person, the offender may also be charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs. The law views criminals who work in concert with one another to be more dangerous the society than one who commits criminal acts on his or her own. Conspiracy is charged separately as the government’s way of increasing one’s exposure to greater criminal responsibility and greater punishment if convicted.
When a conspiracy is formed, all members are criminally responsible for the criminal acts of their co-conspirators committed in furtherance of the conspiracy. This is referred to as conspiracy liability. Conspiracy liability is one of the government’s strongest and most dangerous prosecutorial weapons. Charging conspiracy allows the government to accuse an offender for not only his or her individual acts, but also the acts of their partners in crime. Conspiracy liability may be viewed as an umbrella. Anyone standing under it is implicated. Charging conspiracy is often done in drug distribution or trafficking cases where actors at all levels, such as top-end suppliers, mid-level suppliers, street level dealers and customers, work and are charged together. Where drug conspiracies are alleged, members of the conspiracy become liable for the total type(s) and quantities of drugs distributed among and between them. Since drug type and quantity are directly related to punishment, and often mandatory minimum jail sentences, a conspiracy charge can increase one’s overall criminal liability and exposure to enhanced sentences. If you have been charged with Conspiracy, it is important to seek legal representation immediately to protect your rights and to minimize the impact that a criminal charge of this nature may have on your life.
If you have been charged with conspiracy and need representation, contact the RI defense lawyers at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.