conspiracyCalifornia Penal Code § 182 – Conspiracy

Although it is more common to see conspiracy and racketeering charges filed on the federal level, California prosecutors use a conspiracy statute under Penal Code Section 182 to convict multiple people for involvement in a crime. Under this statute, a conspiracy occurs if an individual (1) agrees with one or more other people to commit an illegal act and (2) one of the members of the group commits an overt act in furtherance of the illegal act.

Conspiracy statutes were initially adopted by states and the U.S. government to allow prosecutors to successfully go after large-scale criminal empires, like organized crime other illegal criminal enterprises. Leaders of these enterprises who typically rely on underlings to commit illegal acts and profit therefrom could be held criminally liable under conspiracy laws. Now, criminal prosecutors use these statutes to convict gang members or those involved in drug or theft crimes.

For one to be guilty of conspiracy, only one member of the group must commit the overt act. This act does not have to be a crime in and of itself. For example, if a group of people conspired to burn a commercial property to commit insurance fraud, the purchase of the gasoline, itself a legal activity, would be considered the “overt act” that would ensnare all involved in the conspiracy. By requiring an overt act, the legislature and courts ensure that people cannot be roped into a conspiracy by mere idle talk or exaggerated plotting.

There are various legal defenses that may apply to an individual accused of conspiracy. Not having a valid agreement, not being able to show an “overt act,” and effectively and clearly withdrawing from the conspiracy are all factors that would overcome a conspiracy charge. Furthermore if someone operated under mistake of law (i.e. they reasonably believe that they were agreeing to commit a lawful act) or if they are falsely accused of being a part of the conspiracy, a valid defense can be raised.

People can be convicted of conspiracy to commit an illegal act, committing the illegal act itself, or both. Conspiracy is either a felony or a “wobbler,” an offense which can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor at the discretion of the prosecutor. The penalty is typically the same as what the penalty would be for the underlying crime.

If you are charged with or even being investigated for conspiracy under Penal Code § 182 it is imperative that you have skilled Los Angeles defense lawyer working on your case as soon as possible. Michael Kraut is an experienced Los Angeles conspiracy defense attorney with over 14 years experience as a deputy district attorney. He knows the law and the various defenses that are available to those charged with this crime. In many instances, Mr. Kraut can intercede prior to charges being filed to work with the prosecutor to avoid charges altogether. If you have been charged with conspiracy under California Penal Code § 182, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group at (323) 464-6453 or (888) 334-6344.

Share |
Featured on CNN
ABC News
NBC News
Los Angeles Times
CBS News
The New York Times
Us Weekly
Entertainment Tonight
Good Morning America
Legal Broadcast Network
Avvo Rating 10.0
Client Reviews
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.