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Difference Between Complicity and Conspiracy

| Apr 10, 2015 | Criminal Defense |

A conspiracy is an agreement between between two or more people to collude to commit a crime. The nature of conspiracy cases are usually very complex, because they involve multiple people. Even if the conspired crime was not executed, those involved can still be convicted. Two things must be present in order for the defendants to be accused of conspiracy.

  1. There has to be substantial evidence to prove that a crime was to be committed
  2. The commission of an obscure act by one party involved

If these two elements are present a conspiracy charge can be filed against the defendants. Conspiracies extend to all types of crimes. A few of these include conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to burglarize, or conspiracy to commit fraud. Punishment for conspiracies are dependent on the severity of the crime and details of the case. Conspiracy is not to be confused with complicity. There is a distinct difference between a conspirer and an accomplice. Complicity is defined as the process of providing support or encouraging someone to commit a crime. It is also called aiding and abetting. Someone who is complicit in a crime earns the title as an accomplice. Even if the individual does not actually commit the crime they can still be considered an accomplice.

For someone to be considered an accomplice there must be 3 elements present:

  • Crime was carried out by another party
  • The individual encouraged or offered support for the crime to be committed
  • The individuals actions in carrying out the crime were intentional

An conspiracy is when those involved take an active role in planning a future crime. This particular crime could be one that was planned months in advance. Also a conspirator does not actually have to be physically present while the crime is committed for them to be convicted. An accomplice is someone who assists in some way during the crime. Examples of complicity include:

  • Loaning a weapon to someone with knowledge that they intend to harm someone
  • Distracting the sales clerk while your partner steals items from a store
  • Driving the getaway car in a robbery
  • Disarming the alarm system while on your shift with knowledge your partner will burglarize the store later

If you have been convicted of a conspiracy case you should take immediate action. These cases require the experience of a seasoned attorney. The legal counsel you retain should have experience in this practice area. Hiring an attorney will increase your chances of a favorable outcome. A lawyer from the Kyle Law Firm will serve as a great advocate for your case.