Burglary Conspiracy in DC

In a burglary conspiracy case in DC, there are many different components that are significant to the prosecution. For this reason, it is important for a person charged with burglary conspiracy in DC to contact a DC burglary attorney as soon as possible to ensure they have the opportunity to prepare a strong defense and to combat the charges against them.

Prosecution

Conspiracy is a charge that does not require the full crime to actually be completed. Instead, in order for a prosecutor to charge someone with conspiracy, he or she only has to prove that there was some agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. Additionally, the prosecutor must be able to prove that there was some overt act that was made to further the commission of the crime, even though the crime may have not actually been committed.

It is important to note that the prosecutor only has to prove one overt act by one of the members in the conspiracy in order for all members of the conspiracy to be charged.

For example, in a burglary case in DC that involves more than one person who agreed to carry out a burglary, if the individuals agreed to commit this crime and one of the participants went out and purchased a lock picking kit in order to commit the burglary, then both of those individuals could be charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, even if the crime was never committed. However, if both of the individuals involved then go about entering into a home in order to steal items from inside the home, then both of those individuals could be charged both with the completed burglary and conspiracy to commit the burglary.

Tools and Investigative Techniques

When building a conspiracy to commit a burglary case, DC law enforcement officers and prosecutors can use the testimony or information gathered from witnesses who may have been present when any discussions between co-conspirators took place. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may be able to use emails, text messages, or recorded conversations between co-conspirators in which the co-conspirators discussed carrying out the burglary.

Additionally, prosecutors and law enforcement can also use circumstantial evidence to prove a conspiracy case, such as multiple participants in the conspiracy carrying out acts that can show that the co-conspirators were acting together and that they did so in a way that had been agreed upon in advance.

Accepted Evidence of Intent

Mere associations cannot be used as evidence of an agreement. A girlfriend cannot be deemed a co-conspirator simply because she happened to be in the same location as her boyfriend who may have been conspiring with another friend to commit a burglary. Mere presence in the room while others are discussing an agreement to carry out a burglary will not necessarily in and of itself make a person a co-conspirator.

The co-conspirator would need to actively agree to the commission of a crime and any of the overt acts committed by any of the co-conspirators would have to be reasonably foreseeable by the conspirator who has been charged.

For example, if a group of co-conspirators had discussed breaking into a building and one of the members of the conspiracy went to a hardware store and purchased an object that can be used to break down a door, then that would be an action that was reasonably foreseeable to the other members of the group. Therefore, all of the co-conspirators could be charged based on one overt act of one of the members of the conspiracy.

In order to establish an agreement, the prosecutors would have to show that all co-conspirators were participating in the agreement and that there was a meeting of the minds as to what the goal of the agreement was. In essence, then, this meeting of the minds would refer to a discussion in which the individuals revealed similar intentions to conspire to commit a crime.

What to Expect when Discussing Burglary Conspiracy with a Lawyer

When a person calls to discuss a burglary conspiracy charge, the responding lawyer will typically ask a few, important questions.

  • In what stage of the process is he or she at the time?
  • Has he or she already been contacted by law enforcement investigators?
  • Has he or she already gone in and been questioned?
  • Has he or she already been arrested or charged?

If the individual has not been charged yet, their attorney will try to get an idea as to where the investigation might stand. This information can give a burglary lawyer a good idea as to what immediate steps might need to be taken and what some more long term defense strategies might be.

  • Is the individual aware that law enforcement might be trying to contact their family members or friends to get more information about the person?
  • Has a police officer called to notify the person that a warrant has already been issued and that they need to turn themselves in?

The next thing an attorney would want to discuss with any person who might be interested in hiring them as representation in a burglary conspiracy charge is what other people might be involved.

  • Was there an incident involving friends or family members of which a potential client may be aware?
  • Was there an incident involving strangers with which the potential client may have been accidentally associated?
  • Who were the people involved?
  • What are their connections to the potential client, and how close are those connections?

A burglary lawyer is also interested in knowing about any communications between other people and their potential client. Seeing any copies of any written communications can be helpful in determining whether or not there was any agreement to commit a crime, or whether such communications are just a coincidence that law enforcement officials are trying to use as evidence of a conspiracy.

  • Are there any messages between the people involved?
  • Are there any emails or phone conversations?

A defense attorney would also want to know about any possibility of the potential client’s DNA, fingerprints, or personal items being found at the scene of the supposed burglary, and finally, the lawyer might be interested in knowing about any alibi information or any witnesses who may be helpful in starting off a defense investigation strategy so that they can discuss what a potential client’s options might be and what their best course of action would be both in the short term and in the long term.