Thanks in large part to Hollywood, the word “ conspiracy ” is a common word in the English language. Unfortunately, however, Hollywood has not always done a very good job of portraying the word accurately. “Conspiracy” is an actual crime in most states, including the State of Nebraska; however, the definition of the crime is more complex than it is typically portrayed in a Hollywood blockbuster or a bestselling novel. If you have been charged with the criminal offense of conspiracy in Nebraska you should consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney for specific advice or to discuss the unique facts and circumstances of your case; however, a general understanding of the definition of the crime of conspiracy and the penalties that may be imposed if convicted may also be beneficial.
The 2006 Nebraska Revised Statutes – § 28-202 defines the offense of conspiracy as follows:
(1) A person shall be guilty of criminal conspiracy if, with intent to promote or facilitate the commission of a felony:
(a) He agrees with one or more persons that they or one or more of them shall engage in or solicit the conduct or shall cause or solicit the result specified by the definition of the offense; and
(b) He or another person with whom he conspired commits an overt act in pursuance of the conspiracy.
So what, exactly, does that mean? Taking apart the statute, the elements required to convict you of conspiracy include:
- intent to promote or facilitate the commission of a felony – you cannot be charged with conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor
- agrees with one or more persons – at least one additional person must be involved
- engage in or solicit the conduct or shall cause or solicit the result – basically this means that you must have agreed with the other person(s) to commit the crime in question or to solicit the commission of the crime.
- commits an overt act in pursuance of the conspiracy – you, or the other person(s) must actually do something that shows you really meant to commit the crime.
For example, imagine that you are arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. The police uncover evidence that you and your brother agreed to kill a third person. The evidence is a taped conversation where you both discuss the murder. That alone is likely not enough to convict you because the “overt act” is missing. If, however, the police also find that your brother purchased a gun the day after that conversation and in the conversation you agreed to shoot the victim, the purchase of the gun would likely be the necessary “overt act” needed to convict you.
In the State of Nebraska, conspiracy is a crime of the same class as the most serious offense which is an object of the conspiracy, except that conspiracy to commit a Class I felony is a Class II felony. In other words, if you are charged with conspiracy to commit several offenses, including two class IV felonies, two class III felonies, and one class II felony you could be convicted of conspiracy as a class II felony as that is the most serious of the crimes you conspired to commit.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.