An Examination of What Constitutes A Criminal Conspiracy Charge


     A conspiracy charge in a criminal case can prove to be a pest liken to a spider and the Web which it weaves, threatening to prey upon anyone in the proximity of the crime committed.  Here at the Law Office of Roy Galloway, we want you to be informed about what constitutes the offense of conspiracy.  Just because you are charged with a  conspiracy offense, doesn’t mean you are actually “stuck in the spider’s web” to be preyed upon.  Know your role and the facts, for doing so births freedom.


    The crime of conspiracy is actually composed of three elements:

1.  An agreement by two or more persons to commit an unlawful act; and

2.  an overt act must be committed by one or more of the conspirators in furtherance of the conspiracy.

     The agreement, can be spoken, or tacit. (Understood or implied without being stated.) Sometimes in a criminal trial, the prosecution will attempt to prove the agreement through circumstantial evidence or direct evidence of such.  Circumstantial evidence of the agreement could, for example, be shown by two people being present at a crime scene who both have active involvement in the underlying crime itself.  Direct evidence of the agreement could be illustrated if, one of the co-conspirators actually testifies to the scope of the agreement between the individuals themselves.  For the latter scenario, that is why it is essential for those charged in a conspiracy to “hold their water” and not be compelled to give anystatements incriminating either themself, or any other alleged co-conspirators.

     The agreement to commit an unlawful act, per se, is not enough to prove a conspiracy. To further the agreement, those involved must commit an “overt act” to further the agreement.  An overt act is action or a step to insure that the agreement is carried out, or to insure that the common goal between the co-conspirators is achieved.  For example, if two persons agree to commit an arson of a vehicle so that the conspirators can collect the insurance money for the charred vehicle, an example of an overt act in this scenario would be if one of the co-conspirators went and purchased a gas can and gas so that the vehicle can be burned.

      Being merely present at the scene of a crime is not sufficient to prove the existence of a conspiracy.  There must exist proof that an individual had knowledge of the existence of the conspiracy and had an involvement in accomplishing the common goal or objective of the conspiracy, that is, the crime itself.  

     Sometimes law enforcement uses confidential informants to attempt to get an individual to engage in criminal activity.  But an individual can not conspire with a government informant.  This is true because a government informant (who is either financially compensated or whose motives for cooperation nvolve leniency in their own prosecution) cannot form the requisite criminal intent to  commit the unlawful act, which is the objective of the conspiracy. 


       Don’t get stuck in the conspiracy “web.”  This blog is for educational and informational purposes.  At the Law Offices of Roy Galloway LLC, we in no way endorse the committing of crimes.  We do, however, love to inform the public on criminal law.  If a conspiracy charge is your reality, and you wish to find the representation, which is founded on integrity, up to date research on the law of conspiracy, and proven defenses thereto, contacting the Law  Offices of Roy Galloway LLC today should be your only phone call.  Attorney Galloway is a proven pretrial and trial advocate dedicated to your interests founded on law and fact. Please contact the Law office of Roy Galloway today @ (717) 737-3300 for a free no obligation consultation with a proven and experienced criminal defense attorney.