New Jersey Conspiracy Law
The conspiracy law in New Jersey is contained at 2C:5-2 and reads as follows:
a. Definition of conspiracy. A person is guilty of conspiracy with another person or persons to commit a crime if with the purpose of promoting or facilitating its commission he:
- Agrees with such other person or persons that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct which constitutes such crime or an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime; or
- Agrees to aid such other person or persons in the planning or commission of such crime or of an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime.
b. Scope of conspiratorial relationship. If a person guilty of conspiracy, as defined by subsection a. of this section, knows that a person with whom he conspires to commit a crime has conspired with another person or persons to commit the same crime, he is guilty of conspiring with such other person or persons, whether or not he knows their identity, to commit such crime.
c. Conspiracy with multiple objectives. If a person conspires to commit a number of crimes, he is guilty of only one conspiracy so long as such multiple crimes are the object of the same agreement or continuous conspiratorial relationship. It shall not be a defense to a charge under this section that one or more of the objectives of the conspiracy was not criminal; provided that one or more of its objectives or the means of promoting or facilitating an objective of the conspiracy is criminal.
d. Overt act. No person may be convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime other than a crime of the first or second degree or distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as defined in chapter 35 of this title, unless an overt act in pursuance of such conspiracy is proved to have been done by him or by a person with whom he conspired.
e. Renunciation of purpose. It is an affirmative defense which the actor must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he, after conspiring to commit a crime, informed the authority of the existence of the conspiracy and his participation therein, and thwarted or caused to be thwarted the commission of any offense in furtherance of the conspiracy, under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of criminal purpose as defined in N.J.S.2C:5-1d.; provided, however, that an attempt as defined in N.J.S.2C:5-1 shall not be considered an offense for purposes of renunciation under this subsection.
f. Duration of conspiracy. For the purpose of N.J.S.2C:1-6d.:
- Conspiracy is a continuing course of conduct which terminates when the crime or crimes which are its object are committed or the agreement that they be committed is abandoned by the defendant and by those with whom he conspired; and
- Such abandonment is presumed with respect to a crime other than one of the first or second degree if neither the defendant nor anyone with whom he conspired does any overt act in pursuance of the conspiracy during the applicable period of limitation; and
- If an individual abandons the agreement, the conspiracy is terminated as to him only if and when he advises those with whom he conspired of his abandonment or he informs the law enforcement authorities of the existence of the conspiracy and of his participation therein.
g. Leader of organized crime. A person is a leader of organized crime if he purposefully conspires with others as an organizer, supervisor , manager or financier to commit a continuing series of crimes which constitute a pattern of racketeering activity under the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:41-1, provided, however, that notwithstanding 2C:1-8a. (2), a conviction of leader of organized crime shall not merge with the conviction of any other crime which constitutes racketeering activity under 2C:41-1. As used in this section, “financier” means a person who provides money, credit or a thing of value with the purpose or knowledge that it will be used to finance or support the operations of a conspiracy to commit a series of crimes which constitute a pattern of racketeering activity, including but not limited to the purchase of materials to be used in the commission of crimes, buying or renting housing or vehicles, purchasing transportation for members of the conspiracy or otherwise facilitating the commission of crimes which constitute a pattern of racketeering activity.”
If you are interested in our explanation of what this statute means, you can refer to our conspiracy page. You are also invited to speak to one of our attorneys from of charge at 1-877-450-8301.