Illinois courts examine several aspects of a case before determining whether a conspiracy has occurred. Multiple people must agree to commit a crime or a wrongful act to constitute a conspiracy. The term “wrongful act” can refer to different behaviors that violate the law or harm a person or an entity. This act is either civil or criminal. However, a crime is a specific illegal act against society or the state and isn’t civil.
Identifying a conspiracy
Conspiracy charges are possible in a variety of cases. This includes white collar crime, terrorism and political corruption. It’s the circumstances of the case that determine if it’s a conspiracy.
The courts may decide a conspiracy has occurred if two or more people agreed to commit the crime. They may have agreed verbally or by showing consent.
Also, those involved must have indicated that they are serious about committing the crime. The intent is proven by direct or circumstantial evidence or the statements or actions of those involved.
For a conspiracy to have occurred, at least one person involved must have taken action to further the plan. The activity may not have been necessarily illegal, but it would have helped those involved commit the crime. For example, someone might have legally purchased a vehicle to escape following the crime.
Those involved must also have agreed to commit the crime and had the means to do so. This takes into account the goals, complexity and scope of the plan. Also, each person involved knew the goal and understood their role in the plan.
If the above elements are present in a case, the court might find those involved guilty of conspiracy. A conspiracy charge is possible even if those involved were stopped from committing the crime. Punishment for conspiracy depends on the circumstances of the case and can include fines and imprisonment.