In Arizona, Conspiracy is defined by A.R.S. §13-1003 as being an occurrence when a person acts with the intention to assist or promote in the commission of an illegal offense and makes an agreement with one or more people to engage in conduct that results in at least one person taking action to further the offense.
It is important to note, however, that an overt act is not always required when the conspirators worked together to commit a felony act upon another person, such as arson or first-degree burglary. Additionally, when a person is facing these charges and has reasonable knowledge that their co-conspirator has worked with third-parties to commit the same offensive act, then the defendant can also be connected to those third-parties. This can occur even when the defendant does not know the identity of the third-party individuals. Finally, anyone who is charged with Conspiracy should be aware that only one count can be charged for multiple offenses when the defendant has committed these acts under a single agreement with the co-conspirators.
Potential Punishments for Conspiracy
Those who have conspired to commit an act that is classified as a class one felony, such as murder, can be issued a life sentence in prison with no option for early release until they have served at least 25 years of their term. Any other charges for conspiring will be penalized according to the felony level issued for the crime that was the subject of the agreement among the conspirators. An example of this is a person who conspires with others to commit a class three felony. In this instance, a person would be tried and sentenced according to the procedures for any class three felony charge.
A first-offense class two felony faces a penalty ranging from probation to twelve and one-half years prison time. Those with one or more allegeable historical prior convictions can have their penalties escalated to include up to 35 years of incarceration.
A first-offense class three felony faces a penalty ranging from probation to eight and three-quarters years in jail. Those with one or more allegeable historical prior convictions can be sentenced with up to 24 years incarceration in prison.
A first-offense class four felony faces a penalty ranging from zero days up to a year in jail with probation, to three and three-quarter years prison time. Those with one or more allegeable historical prior convictions can be sentenced with up to 15 years of incarceration.
Potential Defenses for Conspiracy Charges
When defending these types of charges, the strategy used most often by our criminal defense lawyers will be to prove that the defendant lacked intent to assist in the commission of the offense. Using this defense, we will argue that even though it looked as if they defendant helped someone to commit an offense or acted with the conspirators, they actually had no knowledge that criminal conduct was taking place. This defense strategy rests upon the logic that one cannot conspire to commit an act when they have no knowledge of an agreement to commit a crime.
In addition to this defense, we can also prove that the defendant did not commit an overt act to further the alleged agreement with the conspirators. If no one took action, then this charge cannot stand. Our legal team also works to investigate every angle of a case to ensure that no other possible defenses are overlooked. For example, we will make sure your Miranda rights were upheld and that you were not forced by the law enforcement officers to self-incriminate during the investigation or subsequent arrest. To build this type of defense, it is important to act quickly because we will need enough time to interview witnesses, review police reports and investigate other aspects of your case.
At DM Cantor, our legal team is comprised of former prosecutors who are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. For free assistance with your case, contact us 24 hours a day at (602) 737-2812 or click here to fill out our online form for a free consultation that can have us started on your defense today.