Conspiracy in Arizona is an occurrence of a person acting with intention of assisting or promoting in the commission of an illegal offense, making an agreement with one or more parties to engage in conduct resulting in at least one party acting to further the offense. This is according to ARS 13-1003. But a simplified explanation of conspiracy may be that of one person intentionally acting to help another commit a crime.
There are important nuances of this law of conspiracy in Arizona. For example:
- An overt act is not always required among those working together to enact a felony upon another party. Arson and first-degree burglary are good examples of this type of conspiracy.
- A person charged with conspiracy having reasonable knowledge of co-conspirators working with third parties to commit the same offensive act can also be connected to those third parties, even if the charged person does not know the identity of those third parties.
- Only one count can be charged for multiple offenses if a single agreement with co-conspirators led to committing multiple acts.
If you have been charged with conspiracy, having an aggressive and experienced legal team on your side will ensure the best possible outcome for your case. It is important to gain the support and help of a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible to ensure your rights are protected.
Punishments Commonly Provided for Conspiracy
A life sentence in prison with a minimum of 25 years before potential parole can be the result in Arizona for conspirators who planned to commit an act classified as a class one felony. Murder is an example of a class one felony.
Charges for conspiring in Arizona are penalized according to the conspirators’ agreed-upon crime’s issued felony level. For example, someone conspiring with others to commit a class three felony will be sentenced according to class three felony procedures, if found guilty.
Class two felony for sentencing of first-time offenders results in penalties ranging from probation to up to 12.5 years of prison time. Defendants previously convicted for these crimes can be issued sentences of up to 35 years of prison.
Class three felony charges can result in sentencing ranging from probation to 8 years and nine months in jail for first-time offenders of conspiracy. Defendants with prior convictions will receive up to 24 years of prison time.
Class four felony charges for first-time offenders result in sentencing of between zero time and one year in jail with probation, or as much as three years and nine months in prison. Defendants previously convicted of conspiracy can be sentenced for up to 15 years of prison time behind bars.
Potential Defenses for Conspiracy Charges
To defend a case of conspiracy to commit crime charges, criminal defense attorneys must prove that their client did not intend to aid in committal of the crime. It can be important to argue that the reality of the situation was not as it appeared and the defendant had no awareness of a crime being planned or committed. The strategy of this defense lies in the inability of an individual to conspire to commit a crime when they are not aware of an agreement to commit a crime.
Another possible defense is that the person being charged did not take action to solidify or advance the alleged conspiracy agreement with the other parties. If no one acted on a conspiracy, then there was no conspiracy.
When a criminal defense team is engaged to help a defendant through the justice system, that team works to investigate every aspect of the case. It is very important to find all possible means of defense and where the prosecution has jumped to conclusions or does not possess solid evidence of a crime. Your criminal defense lawyers will also ensure your Miranda rights were maintained and observed. You should not have been coerced by police officers into self-incrimination or led to make statements that hurt your case, whether during the investigation or after you were arrested.
When It Is Time to Call a Conspiracy Defense Lawyer
For criminal defense, it is imperative that lawyers are involved as early as possible and work quickly to gain enough time to conduct a thorough defense investigation that may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports and other aspects of case review.
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