417. Liability for Coconspirators' Acts
A member of a conspiracy is criminally responsible for the crimes that he or she conspires to commit, no matter which member of the conspiracy commits the crime.
A member of a conspiracy is also criminally responsible for any act of any member of the conspiracy if that act is done to further the conspiracy and that act is a natural and probable consequence of the common plan or design of the conspiracy. This rule applies even if the act was not intended as part of the original plan. [Under this rule, a defendant who is a member of the conspiracy does not need to be present at the time of the act.]
A natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes. In deciding whether a consequence is natural and probable, consider all of the circumstances established by the evidence.
A member of a conspiracy is not criminally responsible for the act of another member if that act does not further the common plan or is not a natural and probable consequence of the common plan.
To prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime[s] charged in Count[s] , the People must prove that:
1. The defendant conspired to commit one of the following crimes: <insert target crime[s]>;
2. A member of the conspiracy committed <insert nontarget offense[s]> to further the conspiracy;
3. <insert nontarget offense[s]> (was/were) [a] natural and probable consequence[s] of the common plan or design of the crime that the defendant conspired to commit.
[The defendant is not responsible for the acts of another person who was not a member of the conspiracy even if the acts of the other person helped accomplish the goal of the conspiracy.]
[A conspiracy member is not responsible for the acts of other conspiracy members that are done after the goal of the conspiracy had been accomplished.]
Give this instruction when there is an issue whether the defendant is liable for the acts of coconspirators. (See People v. Flores (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1350, 1363 [9 Cal.Rptr.2d 754] [no sua sponte duty when no issue of independent criminal act by coconspirator].)
The court must also give either CALCRIM No. 415, Conspiracy, or CALCRIM No. 416, Evidence of Uncharged Conspiracy, with this instruction. The court must also give all appropriate instructions on the offense or offenses alleged to be the target of the conspiracy. (People v. Prettyman (1996) 14 Cal.4th 248, 254 [58 Cal.Rptr.2d 827, 926 P.2d 1013.)
Give the bracketed sentence that begins with "Under this rule," if there is evidence that the defendant was not present at the time of the act. (See People v. Benenato (1946) 77 Cal.App.2d 350, 356 [175 P.2d 296]; People v. King (1938) 30 Cal.App.2d 185, 203 [85 P.2d 928].)
Although no published case to date gives a clear definition of the terms "natural" and "probable," nor holds that there is a sua sponte duty to define them, a suggested definition is included. (See People v. Prettyman (1996) 14 Cal.4th 248, 291 [58 Cal.Rptr.2d 827, 926 P.2d 1013] (conc. & dis. opn. of Brown, J.).)
Give either of the last two bracketed paragraphs on request, when supported by the evidence.
CALCRIM No. 418, Coconspirator's Statements.
Natural and Probable Consequences; Reasonable Person Standard. People v. Superior Court (Shamis) (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 833, 842-843 [68 Cal.Rptr.2d 388]; see People v. Nguyen (1993) 21
Cal.App.4th 518, 531 [26 Cal.Rptr.2d 323] [in context of aiding and abetting].
Vicarious Liability of Conspirators. People v. Hardy (1992) 2 Cal.4th 86, 188 [5 Cal.Rptr.2d 796, 825 P.2d 781].
Must Identify and Describe Target Offense. People v. Prettyman (1996) 14 Cal.4th 248, 254 [58 Cal.Rptr.2d 827, 926 P.2d 1013].
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Elements, §§ 93-94.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 141, Conspiracy, Solicitation, and Attempt, §§ 141.01, 141.02 (Matthew Bender).
(New January 2006)