Conspiracy Defence Lawyer
Have you been accused of a criminal conspiracy offence? If so, contact our highly experienced team of skilled and dedicated lawyers today for legal advice.
Here at Draycott Browne, our dedicated team of professional criminal defence lawyers have years of experience in protecting the rights of those accused of criminal conspiracy offences in the UK.
If you are under investigation, have been arrested, charged, or released on bail, we can act in your defence and help to achieve the most favourable outcome possible for your individual circumstances.
What is a criminal conspiracy offence?
A criminal conspiracy is an agreement where two or more people agree to carry out a criminal act. Criminal conspiracy offences are somewhat unique in that they relate to the planning of a crime rather than to the crime itself. Under the Criminal Law Act 1977, the very act of agreeing to the crime is the criminal act when it comes to conspiracy cases.
Criminal conspiracy charges are extremely serious charges; people who were involved in the planning of a crime but not the carrying out of it can be subject to the same punishment as the physical perpetrators. Furthermore, conspiracy is an indictable only offence that is governed by a highly complex piece of law that only the most experienced lawyers can be trusted to navigate successfully.
What is an indictable only offence?
In the UK, an indictable only offence is one which has to be tried by indictment (in other words, by jury) in the Crown Court. Criminal conspiracy offences are indictable only offences, which means those accused of them have to be tried in court. Such crimes carry potentially high sentences, which means a defence lawyer's expertise is required to pursue a favourable outcome.
What type of criminal conspiracy offence could I be charged with?
Have you been arrested and released for conspiring to commit drugs offences? Are you under investigation for conspiracy to commit robbery? Have you been asked to speak to the police regarding a charge of conspiracy to defraud someone?
There are many types of criminal conspiracy offences, some of which include:
Conspiracy to defraud
Conspiracy to defraud is a common offence; it involves conspiring with another to dishonestly defraud them of something.
Conspiracy to commit robbery
According to UK law, robbery is defined as the act of using force to steal property from someone. You could be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery if you were involved in planning the robbery, or helped the robbers in some way (perhaps by transporting them to the scene or providing weapons), even if you did not physically carry out the robbery itself.
Conspiracy to commit burglary
Burglary involves entering a building without permission to steal property, commit unlawful damage, or inflict GBH on an individual. To be charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, you have to be suspected of either helping to plan the burglary itself or of helping the criminals.
Conspiracy to rape
Conspiracy to rape is when two or more people plan together to commit the offence of rape. As well as planning with others to commit a rape, people can also be found guilty of conspiracy to commit rape if they help the rapist in a way that allowed them to commit the crime, such as by providing a space for the rape to take place, providing a date-rape drug, or driving the rapist, or the victim, to a location.
Conspiracy to commit rape is an extremely serious crime; if found guilty, those involved can expect to receive a sentence spanning from tens of years to life imprisonment. Due to the severity of the charge and its potential punitive repercussions, it is imperative that a defence counsel is sought as soon as possible, and that you enact your legal right of engaging a defence lawyer before you participate in any interviews with the police.
Conspiracy to murder
Conspiracy to commit murder is the crime of planning with others to kill a person, or have a person killed. It is not a crime based on killing a person. Conspiracy to commit murder is a serious offence that carries a hefty prison sentence. In most cases, those found guilty of conspiring to commit murder are handed similar sentences to those responsible for physically carrying out the murder, with many convicted conspirators being handed life sentences.
The offence hinges on making an agreement with another person to kill someone. Even if the person is not killed, the very fact that a plan was put into place means that a conspiracy offence has been committed. In most cases that have been tried, the planner's aim was to pay another person to commit a murder on their behalf, but people have also been convicted for providing weapons to the murderer that they knew would be used in the killing, or providing vehicles to transport the murderer and/or the victim.
Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
Conspiring with someone else to pervert the course of justice in a criminal case is a criminal offence, and a serious crime that carries a high penalty. Perverting the course of justice could involve asking someone to lie about what happened during the crime, prepare a fake alibi for someone who was directly involved in the crime, or enlisting people to threaten witnesses, the jury or the judge. As with other conspiracy offences, you do not have to carry out the acts of perjury; the act of making an agreement to carry out the acts is the offence.
All types of criminal conspiracy offences are extremely serious and carry potentially lengthy sentences. In all cases, the help of a defence lawyer will be required in order to achieve a favourable outcome.
What should I do if I am arrested on suspicion of a criminal conspiracy offence?
If you are arrested for a criminal conspiracy offence, you will likely be interviewed by the police. It may be that before you are formally arrested you are asked to come in for a voluntary ‘chat’. It is vitally important that you enact your right to seek legal counsel and refrain from being interviewed – formally or informally - until you have engaged a lawyer, and he or she is present with you. In the UK, all people being held in a police station are entitled to a free defence for the duration of their stay. Simply ask the police to call a solicitor of your choice, such as one of our team.
The police conducting the interview will be intent on charging you with the offence; they will create a highly pressurised interrogation environment and employ questioning techniques designed to confuse you, tire you, and make you feel uncomfortable. It is highly possible that without proper guidance, the stress of the situation could cause you to inadvertently incriminate yourself.
It is important to remember that speaking to a solicitor prior to an interview does not make you look guilty; it is your right to receive legal help. Your solicitor will have the experience, skill, and professionalism to guide you through the initial interview and beyond.
How is a conspiracy case proven?
Conspiracy is a difficult crime for the Prosecution to prove. They have to convince the jury, beyond reasonable doubt, that the person they have accused knowingly engaged in a conspiracy to commit a crime. In a world where conspirators rarely leave signed notes confirming their participation, a successful prosecution will typically hinge on the amalgamation of various pieces of evidence, including phone records, witness statements, and physical evidence such as fingerprints, DNA and more.
What will happen to my phone if I am arrested?
Given the importance of mobile phones in determining the guilt (or lack thereof) of suspects, your phone will usually be seized by the police in the event of your arrest. You have the right, however, to refuse to give your phone until a warrant has been given, and you should enact this right clearly. If the police unlawfully take your phone from you, any evidence they collect from it may be inadmissible in court.
What is the sentence if you are found guilty of a criminal conspiracy offence?
We have already determined that a charge of a criminal conspiracy offence is extremely serious. The sentence given to those found guilty of criminal conspiracy offences depends on many factors, including:
The type of criminal conspiracy offence they have been charged with;
- The extent of their involvement in the crime;
- Whether the person was aware they were being involved in the crime;
- Whether the person was being intimidated or coerced in some way;
- In some cases, whether or not the crime went ahead.
Most guilty verdicts are followed by a lengthy prison sentence, with the maximum sentence for some types of conspiracy crimes being life imprisonment. Having the support, help and determination of a skilled legal defence team can help to reduce the sentence given, or clear it entirely.
What can a solicitor do?
Conspiracy charges are governed by the Criminal Law Act of 1977, a complex and convoluted area of law that can be navigated by only the best criminal lawyers.
As soon as you engage Draycott Browne's lawyers, we will begin to work on mounting a persuasive defence that will help you secure the most favourable outcome for your circumstances.
Using our vast wealth of knowledge, skill, and experience, we will cross-analyse the material held by the prosecution, searching for weaknesses and illegalities, and mount a persuasive counter-strategy in your defence. We will also search for evidence which will directly undermine the prosecution's contentions.
What is mitigation?
In criminal law, a mitigating factor is any circumstance which can be presented to the court to potentially reduce the sentence given to the defendant. Our solicitors will work with you to build a case for mitigation that will hopefully result in a more positive outcome.
They will do this in various ways including:
- Meticulously research past cases and sentencing guidelines to find facts which distinguish your case from others and petition the judge for leniency, solicitors may;
- Collect evidence of your previous criminal history (if favourable);
- Determine whether you aided the police in their inquiries and helped them with the case;
- Collate statements from people in your community who can attest to your character.
Can I access legal aid?
Everyone in the UK has the right to a defence during their time in a police station; after this point, however, your right to financial aid is means-tested. Most people who choose not to have a defence do so because they are afraid of the financial cost of engaging a lawyer. For many of these people, legal aid is a viable solution to paying their fees. In the UK, Legal Aid is administered by the Legal Aid Agency and is available for most criminal cases. Our team can help you to complete an application for Legal Aid.
24 HOUR AVAILABILITY
Our legal advisors are available to respond to your needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will represent you at the police station and throughout the duration of your case to make sure you are treated fairly and appropriately.
Contact the conspiracy solicitors at Draycott Browne Today
If you or a loved one has been accussed of a conspiracy offence, it is essential that you engage the expertise of professional solicitors who will be able to help and advise you on a defence strategy as soon as possible.
By entrusting your case to us, you can be assured that you will have a team of highly experienced and tenacious legal specialists who have a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of this area of law.
As one of the UK's leading Criminal Defence Law Firms, we are highly regarded nationally across the legal profession and noted for consistently delivering positive results for our clients.
Our expert Criminal Conspiracy Solicitors regularly act for clients in Manchester, Preston, Blackpool, Liverpool, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, and London. As recognised Criminal Lawyers we can represent you wherever you live in England and Wales.
Our legal team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you or somebody you know has been arrested and needs expert legal representation, contact Draycott Browne today.