What is Conspiracy in Connecticut?
The Connecticut crime of Conspiracy under C.G.S. § 53a-48 requires at least two people to agree to engage in criminal conduct. Beyond that, at least one person must commit an “overt act” in furtherance of that agreement to commit a crime.
What is an “Overt Act” in a Connecticut Conspiracy Arrest?
An overt act need not be the criminal act itself. It can be any act—even the slightest act—like buying cleaning supplies to dispose of blood, or providing a telephone number to a drug dealer.
If Fotis Dulos and Michelle Troconis agreed to tamper with physical evidence (a charge both are facing in Stamford Superior Court) and one of them committed an overt act in furtherance of that agreement, they could be charged with conspiracy to tamper with physical evidence.
Is Conspiracy a Felony?
If the crime underlying a conspiracy is a felony (such as tampering with evidence, possession with intent to sell or murder), then the conspiracy charge will also be a felony. In the Dulos case, both Dulos and Troconis are charged with one count of Tampering with Physical Evidence, a class D felony. Should charges be brought for conspiracy in connection with this charge, it would be felony conspiracy.
How Do You Fight a Connecticut Conspiracy Charge?
Even if you assist in planning a crime, you still need to have the required underlying intent to commit that crime to be found guilty of conspiracy. Fighting the intent and “overt act” prongs of conspiracy charges is usually the best defense strategy. Click here for more on fighting Connecticut conspiracy arrests.
Can a Co-Conspirator Back Out of a Conspiracy at the Last Minute?
Under CGS § 53a-48(b), a defense to conspiracy is renunciation.
Renunciation of a Connecticut Conspiracy is when a co-conspirator thwarts the success of a conspiracy by exhibiting a complete and voluntary renunciation of the conspiracy’s criminal purpose (such as calling the police on the conspiracy, talking the others out of committing the crime, or not providing the getaway car in a bank robbery and as a result, the robbery does not occur).
Just removing yourself from the conspiracy is not enough. You actually have to stop the crime from happening or you can still be arrested in Connecticut for Conspiracy under CGS § 53a-48.