San Jose Conspiracy Attorney
Were you charged with conspiracy in San Jose, California? Depending on the underlying offense, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges – even if the crime wasn’t actually carried out.
A San Jose conspiracy lawyer at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law can help you fight your conspiracy charges. We have over three decades of combined experience, and we’re dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused. Our legal team has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, obtaining dismissals, not-guilty verdicts, and favorable plea bargains.
We’ll put our skills, knowledge, and resources to work for you to secure the best possible outcome in your case. Contact our law office at (408) 217-8818 to set up a free consultation to discuss your conspiracy charges. We’ll provide honest legal advice on the best course of action in your case.
How Our San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help If You’ve Been Charged With Conspiracy
Though the prosecution has the burden of proving the elements of conspiracy, even the smallest actions can result in a conviction. Something as simple as buying a ski mask or renting a car could connect you to an alleged crime.
However, our experienced San Jose criminal defense attorneys know how to handle complex cases and find deficiencies in the State’s evidence.
If you hire Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to defend you in your conspiracy case, we’ll:
- Thoroughly review the evidence against you as we work to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and gather evidence proving your innocence
- Keep you updated throughout your case and ensure you understand the consequences of any decisions you make
- Communicate with the prosecutor as we work to have your charges dropped, case dismissed, or negotiate a favorable plea deal
- Protect your rights and ensure you’re treated fairly throughout the process
- Fiercely represent you in all Santa Clara County court proceedings
We believe that everyone deserves to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, and we’re committed to providing our clients with exceptional legal representation. Contact our San Jose, CA law firm to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We’ll explain our legal services and the benefits of creating an attorney-client relationship.
What Is Conspiracy in California?
Conspiracy is defined under California Penal Code 182 PC and occurs when:
- Two or more people agree to commit a crime;
- They actually intend to commit the crime;
- One or more of the co-conspirators commit an overt act to accomplish the crime; and
- They commit the overt act in California.
Below we explain each element of conspiracy the State of California must prove.
Agreement To Commit a Crime
To prove that the defendant agreed to commit a crime, the prosecutor doesn’t have to prove that they met with other alleged co-conspirators or had a detailed plan. The agreement could be inferred from each defendant’s conduct if they acted with a common purpose to carry out a crime.
There must also be intent to commit a crime. If someone is merely accompanying an alleged co-conspirator or associates with them but doesn’t intend to engage in criminal activity, they aren’t considered part of the conspiracy.
Committing an Overt Act
An “overt act” is an action one of the co-conspirators takes to help accomplish the intended crime. It must occur after the defendant agrees to commit the criminal offense but before the crime is completed.
The overt act is something more than simply agreeing or planning to carry out a crime, but it doesn’t have to involve criminal activity.
Examples of Conspiracy
The following are examples of conspiracies:
- Purchasing a ski mask after agreeing to participate in a robbery
- Renting a van after agreeing to transport illegal drugs
- Creating a fake website after agreeing to commit wire fraud
- Scoping out an area after agreeing to burglarize a house
You could be charged with conspiracy even if the agreed-upon crime was never actually committed. If you agreed to commit a crime and you or one of your co-conspirators carried out an overt act in furtherance of the crime, you can be guilty of conspiring.
However, you can’t be convicted of conspiracy if you only agreed to participate in criminal activity and no one acted on it. For example, if you and a friend agreed to rob a bank, but nothing was done in furtherance of the robbery, you cannot be guilty of conspiracy.
On the other hand, if your friend purchased a gun for the heist after your agreement, you’d likely be guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery.
What Are the Penalties for a Conspiracy Conviction in California?
The punishment imposed for conspiracy will depend on the underlying offense the defendant intended to commit. The defendant will face the same penalty as they would for the underlying crime.
For example, if you’re convicted of conspiring to assault someone with a deadly weapon, you’ll face the same potential penalties as someone who committed felony assault.
If the underlying criminal offense is a misdemeanor, the crime of conspiracy is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecution will weigh different factors, such as the severity of the offense, the defendant’s level of involvement, and the defendant’s criminal history.
If the defendant is convicted of conspiring to commit more than one felony, they’ll face penalties associated with the most serious felony (i.e., the felony with the harshest punishment).
How Can I Defend Myself If I’m Facing Conspiracy Charges in San Jose, CA?
The State has the burden of proving every element of conspiracy. If we can identify any weaknesses in their case against you, we will prepare an effective defense strategy to cast doubt and refute their claims.
Any of the following defenses may be available in your case:
- You didn’t agree to commit a crime
- You had no intent to actually carry out a crime
- There was no overt act in furtherance of the crime
- You communicated your intent to withdraw from participating in the crime to your alleged co-conspirators (i.e., no overt act was yet taken, and you said you wanted out)
- You were falsely accused
- Your constitutional rights were violated by law enforcement
Other defenses could apply in your conspiracy case, depending on the circumstances. Our criminal defense lawyers in San Jose will evaluate the evidence against you, listen to your version of events, and gather exculpatory evidence to clear your name.
What Crimes Are Related To Conspiracy in California?
When charged with conspiracy, many defendants also face related charges, including:
Aiding and abetting: You can be charged with aiding and abetting if you assist in the commission of a crime or encourage it. In a conspiracy case, this could entail helping someone commit an overt act, even if you didn’t agree to commit the crime.
Attempt to commit a crime: You can be charged with attempt if you tried to commit a crime but failed or were prevented from carrying it out. For example, if you conspired to commit murder but were unsuccessful in its completion, you may be charged with attempted murder.
Accessory after the fact: If you conceal, harbor, or assist someone after they commit a felony with the intent to help them avoid arrest, you could be charged with accessory after the fact. For example, you could be accused of this crime if you hid a conspirator from the police after they committed the agreed-upon felony.
Gang-related activity: If you commit a felony for the benefit of or in association with a criminal street gang, you can receive enhanced sentencing (i.e., prison time in addition to the underlying crime’s penalties). For example, if you conspired to carjack and it’s tied to gang affiliation, you could face additional penalties.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our San Jose Conspiracy Attorneys
If you’re facing conspiracy accusations or charges in San Jose, CA, don’t delay in seeking legal representation. It can take time to build a strong defense, and there’s a lot at stake – including your freedom, reputation, and future.
Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to speak with a knowledgeable San Jose conspiracy attorney. We offer a free case assessment to discuss your charges, listen to your side of the story, and explain your legal options. Call today to learn more.