Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyers Badge
Avvo Badge
Massachusetts Bar Association
Top-Rated Lawyer


In Massachusetts, conspiracy is a combination of two or more individuals by some collaborative action to accomplish a criminal or unlawful goal (or a goal, not in itself criminal or unlawful, by unlawful means). At the heart of conspiracy is the “combination” element. A “combination” is formed when two or more persons join together because of an agreement to accomplish some unlawful end. To convict a defendant of conspiracy, the prosecutor must prove that there was both an intent to combine and that the defendant intended to do something that he knew was unlawful. If the conspiracy’s purpose is something that is wrong only because there is a statute prohibiting it, then the prosecutor will have to prove that the defendant knew that the particular act was against the law. If, on the other hand, the purpose of the conspiracy is something that is wrong in and of itself, then to satisfy then intent element, the prosecutor only has to prove that the defendant knew what he was doing.

Conspiracy is Not Often Charged in Massachusetts Other Than in Drug Cases

The crime of conspiracy in Massachusetts is rarely charged unless it is in connection with a drug crime. This is because proving someone’s intent and the agreement is usually impossible. Moreover, whenever the district attorney believes that two or more people are acting in concert they charge all of them with the crime and proceed on a joint venture theory. Proving joint venture is an easier task and the apparent preference of prosecutors in Massachusetts.

As to drug crimes however the motivations are somewhat different. Almost all drug cases involving one or more persons results in a conspiracy charge. This is basically a fall back position for the prosecutor. The conspiracy charge can be severed from the other charges at the request of the defendant. The prosecutor will proceed with the underlying drug case. If you lose there will be no action taken on the conspiracy case. It will likely be dismissed. On the other hand, if you win, the prosecutor will then go forward on the conspiracy case.


If the goal of the conspiracy (or the means for achieving that goal) amounts to a felony punishable by death or life imprisonment, the conspiracy is punishable by up to 20 years in state prison. If the goal was a felony punishable by imprisonment for more than 10 years, then the maximum prison sentence for the conspiracy is 10 years. If the purpose of the conspiracy was a felony punishable by less than 10 years of imprisonment, then the conspiracy is punishable by up to 5 years. If the conspiracy’s goal was any other crime, then the maximum sentence for the conspiracy is up to 2 ½ years in jail. A conspiracy is separate and distinct from the substantive crime, and it is not merged into the substantive crime. For example, if two persons agree to commit murder and do commit murder, they may be punished for the conspiracy and the murder separately.

Massachusetts Conspiracy Defense Attorney: 617-263-6800

If you’ve been charged with a crime in the Boston area or anywhere in Massachusetts, contact the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. Attorney Stephen Neyman is one of the foremost criminal defense lawyers in the state. With more than 20 years of experience, he provides his clients with the best defense possible. You can reach him at any time by calling 617-263-6800 or by contacting him online.

Case Results » Conspiracy
  • Drug Charges, Possession With Intent to Distribute Class A, Conspiracy, School Zone Violation Against New York Man Dismissed

    Quincy District Court: According to a Braintree Police Department report on August 9, 2011, based on an informant's tip, police officers set up surveillance activities on a Braintree, Massachusetts street. At approximately 1:35 p.m. officers saw a particular vehicle enter the area of concern. The car had been identified by the informant as the vehicle used by the defendant to deliver drugs. Surveillance continued. Officers saw the driver, the defendant, deliver drugs to known drug users. One of the users to whom the accused sold drugs was stopped by the officers. This person identified the defendant as having just sold him drugs. Officers found drugs in this person's possession and recognized the package as the item the defendant passed to this person. The surveillance team followed the defendant and arrested him. In his possession the police found proceeds from the drug deal. Today, Attorney Neyman was able to get all charges dismissed.

Client Reviews
"We went to trial and won. He saved me fifteen years mandatory in state prison for this case." A.C. Boston, Massachusetts
"I hired him and he got the case dismissed before I had to go into a courtroom. My school never found out and if they had I would have lost my academic scholarships. He really saved my college career." Melissa C. Cold Spring, New York, October 2013
"My union rep told me to call Steve Neyman. From the get go I felt comfortable with him. He took the time to talk to me about my case whenever I needed .... He even gave me his personal cell number and took all my calls. We won the case and I kept my job." Bart L. S.
"The best criminal defense lawyer in Massachusetts. Takes all of his client's calls at any time of the day or night. He was always there for me and my family. Steve saved my life." Jacquille D. Brockton, Massachusetts
"In less than two months Stephen Neyman got my old conviction vacated. I now have no criminal record." Paul W. Boston, Massachusetts