CALCRIM No. 417. Liability for Coconspirators’ Acts
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)Download PDF
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.]
Anatural 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
New January 2006; Revised October 2021
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
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
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].
A verdict of murder may not be based on the natural and probable consequences
doctrine. Pen. Code, § 188(a)(3). (Penal Code section 188, as amended by Statutes
2018, ch. 1015 (S.B. 1437), became effective January 1, 2019.) The amendment
added “malice shall not be imputed to a person based solely on his or her
participation in a crime.” The question of whether this amendment abolished the
natural and probable consequences doctrine as to attempted murder is unresolved.
CALCRIM No. 417 AIDING AND ABETTING
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Elements, §§ 98-99.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 141,
Conspiracy, Solicitation, and Attempt, §§ 141.01, 141.02 (Matthew Bender).
AIDING AND ABETTING CALCRIM No. 417