Arizona Conspiracy Laws (ARS 13-1003)
What is considered conspiracy in Arizona?
Essentially, a person is guilty of conspiracy when they plan with others to commit a crime, intending to help or encourage the commission of that crime. The plan involves an agreement among the people involved, and at least one of them or someone else takes a specific action to move the plan forward. Conspiracy is very unique in that an overt act shall not be required if the object of the conspiracy was to commit any felony upon the person of another, or to commit an offense under section 13-1508 or 13-1704.
A person can also be charged alongside other co-conspirators, regardless of whether or not they know their identity.
Conspiracy charges can be charged as Class 1 felonies. This means that if found guilty, there is a possibility of life in prison as the sentence.
Criminal accusations of conspiracy can go beyond simply the criminal charges. These charges can cast a long shadow, carrying severe consequences that extend far beyond the courtroom.
A conviction not only threatens to destabilize one’s standing in both professional and personal spheres but can also introduce profound challenges to maintaining familial ties, employment, and participation in day-to-day life.
- A person commits conspiracy if, with the intent to promote or aid the commission of an offense, such person agrees with one or more persons that at least one of them or another person will engage in conduct constituting the offense and one of the parties commits an overt act in furtherance of the offense, except that an overt act shall not be required if the object of the conspiracy was to commit any felony upon the person of another, or to commit an offense under section 13-1508 or 13-1704.
- If a person guilty of conspiracy, as defined in subsection A of this section, knows or has reason to know that a person with whom such person conspires to commit an offense has conspired with another person or persons to commit the same offense, such person is guilty of conspiring to commit the offense with such other person or persons, whether or not such person knows their identity.
- A person who conspires to commit a number of offenses is guilty of only one conspiracy if the multiple offenses are the object of the same agreement or relationship and the degree of the conspiracy shall be determined by the most serious offense conspired to.
- Conspiracy to commit a class 1 felony is punishable by a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of release on any basis until the service of twenty-five years, otherwise, conspiracy is an offense of the same class as the most serious offense which is the object of or result of the conspiracy.
What is an example of a conspiracy charge?
Say that 3 acquaintances decided to rob a convenience store in their neighborhood.
One of them proposed the plan to steal cash from the store’s register after closing hours. They agreed on a date and time and discussed how they would carry out the theft.
An overt act occurred when one of the friends purchased ski masks and gloves for the group, signaling their commitment to the crime. A fourth acquaintance, aware of their intentions, overheard their plans without directly participating.
Under ARS 13-1003, all three people could be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. Additionally, the fourth person, despite not actively engaging in the conspiracy, could also face charges due to their knowledge of the plot. If convicted, the legal consequences would be determined based on the severity of the most serious offense, in this case, robbery.
Potential defenses for a conspiracy charge
There are various defenses that can be used to fight a criminal charge, like conspiracy. Without professional legal counsel and a consultation, we cannot accurately determine what strategies can be used to defend your case.
Were you a willing participant in the conspiracy?
In order to convict, the court needs to prove that you and the co-conspirator(s) agreed to participate in the crime. If you were not a willing participant, then the charge cannot move forward.
Did an overt act furthering the crime take place?
Was there a specific, observable action that occurred, which contributed to the advancement or execution of the criminal plan? In legal terms, an “overt act” refers to a tangible and outward action that goes beyond just planning or verbal discussions. It signifies a significant step towards carrying out the crime. So, in simpler terms, the question is whether there is evidence of an actual, observable act that moved the criminal plan forward.
Was there a constitutional breach in gathering evidence?
This typically pertains to actions that violate the protections guaranteed by the Constitution, such as unreasonable searches and seizures, denial of the right to legal representation, miranda violations, or any other violation of a person’s fundamental rights as outlined in the constitution. The question is whether the methods used to gather evidence crossed the boundaries set by the constitution in protecting individual liberties.
Phoenix Conspiracy Attorneys
Our team at Litwak Law Group is dedicated to providing you with serious legal representation. We specialize in unraveling the intricacies surrounding conspiracy charges, ensuring a thorough examination of the facts, from the inception of the alleged conspiracy to the gathering of evidence. Committed to upholding your rights, we strive to meticulously assess whether constitutional safeguards were upheld during the process. Trust us to diligently pursue every avenue of defense, standing by your side to safeguard your interests and guide you through the legal intricacies. Give us a call today.