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What Is Conspiracy To Murder?

Have you been charged with conspiracy to commit murder? Do you know what it is that you need to do? Murder is one of the most serious aspects of criminal law and it is some of the most serious offending an individual can do. 

Conspiracy to commit murder means that you have planned to commit a murder and it is a premeditated act. A premeditated act signifies a planned act which cannot be explained away as being accidental or circumstantial.

What is Murder?

Murder is the unlawful taking of another individuals life through violence. It is a criminal offence to commit murder and the maximum penalty can be thirty years to life in prison. Murder charges are extremely serious and it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual accused can be found guilty of the charge.

Murder charges can stem from other types of criminal offending such as grievous bodily harm and assault. Some injuries which are inflicted on a person can take time to result in death and if that death can be linked to the injuries inflicted then it will result in murder. Under the Crimes Act, grievous bodily harm is one of the most serious offences.

What do I do if I have Been charged with Conspiracy?

Conspiracy charges should be taken with the utmost seriousness and immediate legal advice should be sought. You will need to seek advice from an expert criminal lawyer or team of criminal lawyers. They will be able to advise you of whether there are any defences to the charge, whether you should plead guilty or not guilty and what sentence you might receive if found guilty.

Your criminal lawyer will be able to explain the process of the court, the evidence that will need to be brought and how that evidence will be made available. If you are likely to receive a jail sentence then it will be important to discuss parole periods and non-parole periods.

What Court Will the Matter be Heard In?

Conspiracy, murder and manslaughter charges are all heard in the Supreme Court as they are all classed as a strictly indictable offence. The matter is determined by a judge and jury and on a beyond reasonable doubt basis.

The jury will decide your overall guilt but the judge will decide your sentencing. They will determine whether you are subject to a standard non-parole period, whether you are subject to a term of imprisonment, etc.

What Are The Possible Defences?

If you have been charged with the offence of conspiracy, murder or manslaughter then their may be either partial or full defences that you can use. A partial defence may go more to explaining some of your actions or mitigating the sentencing rather than outright excusing your actions.

Possible partial defences may be intoxication by either drugs or alcohol or some other impairment at the time of the incident. There may be some level of coercion or manipulation involved that caused you to become involved and whilst this may explain your actions it will not excuse them.

Self defence is one of the only full defences to charges as serious as above. Self defence will not work for a charge of conspiracy if it is ultimately proven that the murder was premeditated or pre-planned.

Who Needs To Prove Reasonable Doubt?

It is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed the offence you have been charged with. It is the responsibility of your criminal defence lawyer to prove that their is doubt as to the charge so that the jury cannot find you guilty.

If the prosecution prove the charge then the jury will find the person guilty. You can be found guilty of certain charges but not others so there can be criminal charges that you are ultimately not found guilty for. A murder charge for instance will not automatically constitute conspiracy to murder.


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