Attempts and Conspiracies

You are here: Home » Areas of Practice » Attempts and Conspiracies

The provisions against attempts are found in Division 12 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). Section 321N outlines conduct that constitutes an attempt. The act must be more than merely preparatory to the offence, and has to be immediately connected with the commission of the offence.¬

The prosecution must prove that the accused intended the offence be committed and intend or believe that any fact or circumstance (which if completed) would constitute an element of an offence. A person will not be guilty of an offence, if it is impossible for the offence to be completed at law. However if the offence is merely factually impossible, a person can still be charged and convicted of an offence. Furthermore an attempt to commit a summary offence cannot be an attempt. A mere intention to commit a crime is not an attempt. A person cannot be charged with an attempt if the crime which is attempted involves elements of negligence, recklessness or an omission.

The law in regards to attempts is highly dependant on the facts of the case and the alleged attempt a person is being charged with. It should therefore be noted that there are infinite possibilities as to which a person can be charged with attempting a crime. It is therefore highly recommended that a lawyer review your case.

Conspiracies

The offence of conspiring to complete a crime is contained in s.321 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). It is defined as:

1) Subject to this Act, if a person agrees with any other person or persons that a course of conduct shall be pursued which will involve the commission of an offence by one or more of the parties to the agreement, he is guilty of the indictable offence of conspiracy to commit that offence.

2) For a person to be guilty under sub-section (1) of conspiracy to commit a particular offence both he and at least one other party to the agreement—

a) must intend that the offence the subject of the agreement be committed; and
b) must intend or believe that any fact or circumstance the existence of which is an element of the offence will exist at the time when the conduct constituting the offence is to take place.

It is to be noted that this includes a conspiracy, hatched in Victoria but planned to be committed somewhere else as under s.321A. If a co-conspirator is found not guilty or is acquitted of the offence, that does not affect the other conspirator being charged as under s.321B.

These abolish the common law offences, but conspiracy to defraud still exists under the common law.¬†A separate act of conspiracy exists within the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic.) in Victoria under s.79.¬†The leading case for conspiracy is the High Court case of Gerakiteys v R [1984] HCA 8. Conspiracy is usually evidenced by ‚Äėovert acts‚Äô that point towards a conspiracy, the offence of conspiracy occurs up until the act has been committed.

If you have been charged with any of these crimes it is imperative that you contact a lawyer. Grigor Lawyers can can advise and represent you in these matters.

 

Return to our ‘Areas of Practice’

Show Comments