New Jersey Conspiracy Charges
An individual can be arrested and charged with a crime if they conspire to bring about the offense. The related charge is referred to as conspiracy and this section of our website discusses the law of conspiracy in New Jersey. If you would like additional guidance concerning conspiracy to distribute drugs or commit some other offense, our lawyers possess over 100 years of experience to insure that you are afforded the protection you deserve. One of the attorneys on our team can be reached anytime 24/7 at 1-877-450-8301 to assist you.
NJ Conspiracy Law - N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2
The general concepts that are important to understand when you are consider a New Jersey conspiracy charge filed or indicted under N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 include:
- Definition of Conspiracy. An individual conspires with someone to commit a crime if he has the puspose to promote or facilitate the offense and either agrees with the actor(s) to commit the crime or agrees to aid the actor in the planning or commission of the crime.
- Object of Agreement Must be a "Crime". A violation cannot occur unless the object of the agreement is the commission of a criminal offense. Accordingly, there is no conspiracy where the object of the agreement is a civil action or involves a Disorderly Persons Offense.
- An Agreement. The accused must have entered into an agreement whose object was the particular crime. A conviction cannot be established unless the defendant entered into such an agreement.
- Overt Act. Unless the underlying offense involves a First Degree, Second Degree, or Possession with Intent to Distribute, the defendant cannot be convicted unless he committed what is termed an overt act. The act does not have to be significant but must have been a substantial step in bringing about the violation.
- Material Elements. To convict someone under 2C:5-2, the prosecutor must prove that the accused had the purpose to commit the offense, an agreement to bring it about, and engaged in an overt act that was a substantial component in the violation.
Abandonment of Involvement. An individual cannot be convicted of conspiracy if he or she renunciated their agreement prior to crime. In order for the withdrawal to be effective, the accused must inform the authorities of the existence of the plan, his involvement, and assist them in thwarting it.
Merger of Charges. An individual generally cannot be convicted of both a criminal offense and for conspiring to commit that crime. The offenses typically merge into a single conviction.
Grading of Conspiracy
Although conspiracy is a lesser included offense, it gives rise to a charge of the same degree as the most serious crime which that was the object of the conspiracy. There is an exception to this rule, however, for conspiracy to commit a First Degree crime and such an offense grades out as a Second Degree.
Other Important Resources: New Jersey Model Jury Charge on ConspiracyMonmouth County Office, 157 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ Middlesex County Office, 75 Paterson Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ Union County Office, 123 North Union Avenue, Cranford, NJ Morris County Offices, 55 Madison Avenue, Morristown & 2001 Route 46, Parsippany, NJ Ocean County Office, 29 Hadley Avenue, Toms River, NJ Hudson County Officer, 580 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ