A criminal conspiracy takes place when two or more people get together and plan to carry out a course of conduct which will necessarily involve the commission of an offence. In other words, more than one person agrees to do something which will involve committing a crime. The action which they envisage will be taken does not have to be a crime itself to further the conspiracy, so long as the course of conduct will involve a crime.
The crime of conspiracy can be charged whether or not the plan is ever actually carried out, and whether or not the crime is ever committed. The offence is made out by the agreement rather than the actual conduct.
By way of example, if two people plan to rob a bank and they go to buy ski masks to wear during the robbery, they can be charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery, even if they never actually rob the bank or even attempt to rob the bank. Buying ski masks is not a crime, but it furthers the conspiracy to commit a crime.
Furthermore, persons who help to plan a crime, but do not participate in the actual criminal act can be given the same punishment as the person who carried out the crime itself.
This simply means that just as it is a criminal offence to rob, murder or supply controlled drugs, so it is a criminal offence for two or more persons to agree with one another to commit that offence. The essence of the offence of conspiracy is the agreement.
Whilst the punishment for such offences is serious, conspiracy still remains one of the most difficult cases to prove by the Prosecution. Here, at Conspiracy Solicitors, our team has a vast wealth of experience in dealing with conspiracy cases, including, conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to burgle, conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to supply controlled drugs, conspiracy to distribute child pornography and conspiracy to murder.
The investigative stage itself within the police station can take many months and sometimes years before the case proceed to charge and we can assist in every step of the case from initial arrest right through to appearance at the Crown Court.
Conspiracy cases are often complex legally, factually and in relation to the amount of documentation produced. We are experienced in marshalling large volumes of material and will often make papers available to our clients in electronic format.
All conspiracy cases are allocated to a senior solicitor to supervise. Usually that solicitor will work actively on the case on a daily basis, assisted by other staff who will be carrying out specific tasks requested by the supervising solicitor. This ensures that the case is thoroughly prepared for trial, whether it be dealt with by our own in house Counsel or allocated to one of our recognised chambers.