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 |
Client Reviews
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.
I hired Attorney Mike Kraut and I'm am so happy and grateful that I did! I was arrested for a DUI because my BAC level was over the .08 limit. I ended up getting a wet and reckless instead of a DUI. I still have to do some classes and I'm on probation, but I do not have a DUI on my record. If you have a DUI hire Attorney Kraut, he definitely knows his stuff!
Avvo User
There aren't enough positive words to write about Mike, but let me be clear that this is the only lawyer worth hiring in Los Angeles. Mike is professional, caring, and an absolute champion at winning in court.
Kyle, Avvo User
Mike Kraut is not a typical lawyer. He is a straightforward person with a true heart and a sympathetic ear. He is also smart and connected and he cares about the people who seek out his help. He got my son out of a jam. He did it quickly and painlessly. I recommend Mike Kraut to anyone that needs his services.
Thank you Mike for helping my son.
Mark, Avvo User
Michael Kraut is a rock star lawyer. I was really happy and satisfied with the results I received from Michael and his team. A few months back I was being accused of a serious felony. Mike gave me sound legal advice and worked diligently to clear my name. Mike was great at always keeping me updated and returning calls. Great, great lawyer I cant say enough about this man!
Eric, Google User
How can I express how relieved and pleased I am with Michael's professional abilities to have my Felony brought down to a misdameanor to a possible dismissal with deferment. With his care my life has been turned around and cannot say how helpful he's been not only in my case but life. He, himself has changed how I view criminal lawyers. Thank you so much Michael!
Owen, Google User
He gave me the peace of mind that my DUI case was going to be resolved. He fought for what it was needed and helped me by answering all my questions. Mike is not an average attorney. He’s a very experienced, honest and straightforward person that is there for you!
Eve Sal