Conspiracy

– section 321 of the Crimes Act

conspiracy

 

Conspiracy is a rarely charged offence.

It is charged to prove responsibility in relation to individual acts of an offence, generally when an offence is committed by a group of people.

Examples of Conspiracy
  • A group of people decide to commit an armed robbery together
  • A group of friends plan to vandalise a building
  • Ten or more people organise an extensive drug trafficking operation
What are some of the possible defences to a Conspiracy charge?
  • There was no agreement to carry out the offence
  • You did not have any knowledge of the plans to carry out the offence
  • You never intended to carry out the offence
  • The plans for carrying out the offence were different from the actual offence carried out

There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • What proves there was an agreement to carry out the offence?
  • What proves your intention that plans would go ahead?
“Were you conspiring?”

What is the legal definition of Conspiracy?

Entering into an agreement with another person to commit an offence and intending that the offence would be committed.

Legislation

In Victoria, the section that covers the offence is section 321 of the Crimes Act 1958.1

The common law offence of conspiracy has been abolished in Victoria by s321F(1) of the Crimes Act.

Federally, section 11.5 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) covers the offence.

sentencing county court

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

This is a rarely charged offence and therefore reserved for the more serious types of offending.

If you are found guilty of a serious offence, you may serve a prison term.

Other Important Resources
Case Studies

 


[1] Crimes Act 1958 – section 321 Conspiracy to commit an offence


(1) Subject to this Act, if a person agrees with any other person or persons that a course of conduct shall be pursued which will involve the commission of an offence by one or more of the parties to the agreement, he is guilty of the indictable offence of conspiracy to commit that offence.
(2) For a person to be guilty under subsection (1) of conspiracy to commit a particular offence both he and at least one other party to the agreement—
(a) must intend that the offence the subject of the agreement be committed; and
(b) must intend or believe that any fact or circumstance the existence of which is an element of the offence will exist at the time when the conduct constituting the offence is to take place.
(3) A person may be guilty under subsection (1) of conspiracy to commit an offence notwithstanding the existence of facts of which he is unaware which make commission of the offence by the agreed course of conduct impossible.
(4) An indictment charging an offence against this section must not be filed without the approval of the Director of Public Prosecutions or of a person authorised by the Director of Public Prosecutions to give approval for the purposes of this subsection.