Nov 05

I Have Been Charged with Conspiracy Charges – What is a Conspiracy?

A conspiracy has been described as an “agreement to do something criminal where the conspirators act in concert of a common goal.” A conspiracy is an agreement between at least two people, but typically, involves more than two persons. Common offences for conspiracy are drug trafficking, firearm trafficking, murder, or fraud.

I Never Followed through on the Agreement, why am I Charged?

A conspiracy occurs upon the forming of an agreement to commit an offence. For example, if you and your two friends make an agreement to commit a home invasion or robbery, the fact that the robbery was not actually committed does not negate you from being charged with a criminal offence. This situation is commonly called a ‘dry’ conspiracy.

Conspiracy charges without the commission of a criminal offence are regularly laid in wiretap operation cases. In these situations, the police have listened to your private communications and have intercepted an oral or written (i.e. text messages) agreement, but the offence either does not happen or the police make arrests before the offence is executed as per the intercepted agreement.

Elements of the Conspiracy Offence

• Agreement of two or more persons to commit an unlawful act by unlawful means;
• Intention to agree, completion of the agreement, and a common design;
• Need an actual agreement between the parties;
• Intention to agree must be proved in that the parties intended to achieve a mutual criminal objective.

What is the Co-Conspirator Exception to Hearsay?

Typically, the statements of your co-accused cannot be used against you or any other co-accused. However, when there is an allegation of a conspiracy, the Crown can attempt to admit statements made in furtherance of the conspiracy which would be admissible against all co-accused. For example, if two of your co-accused are intercepted having discussions which further the conspiracy, this could potentially be used against you at your trial to prove that there was a conspiracy and what the conspiracy was.

What Should I do if I have Been Charged with a Criminal Conspiracy?

Contact the law office of Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh to discuss your case. The law on conspiracy is a complicated area of law, but LZZ takes pride in ensuring our clients receive the best defence possible. We regularly represent clients charges with conspiracy offences in Toronto, Brampton, Oshawa, Newmarket, and Barrie.