To prove that a defendant is guilty of conspiracy under California law, the prosecution must prove that:
1. The defendant intended to agree and did agree with one or more of (the co-participants to commit the alleged underlying crime;
2. At the time of the agreement, the defendant and one or more of the other alleged members of the conspiracy intended that one or more of them would commit the alleged underlying crime;
3. The defendant and/or one of the coparticipants committed at least one alleged overt act to accomplish the alleged underlying crime; AND
4. At least one the alleged overt acts was committed in California.
The People do not have to prove that any of the members of the alleged conspiracy actually met or came to a detailed or formal agreement to commit the alleged underlying crime. An agreement may be inferred from conduct if members of the alleged conspiracy acted with a common purpose to commit the crime.
An “overt act” is an act by one or more of the members of the conspiracy that is done to help accomplish the agreed upon crime. The overt act must happen after the defendant has agreed to commit the crime. The overt act must be more than the act of agreeing or planning to commit the crime, but it does not have to be a criminal act itself.
If you or someone you care about is of accused of a crime, call the Radical Law Center today!