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Conspiracy

Whether in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-1003 “Conspiracy” occurs when, with the intent to promote or aide in the commission of an offense, a person agrees with one or more other persons that at least one of them will engage in conduct constituting the offense, and one of the parties commits an overt act in furtherance of the offense.

However, an overt act is not required if the object of the conspiracy was to commit any felony upon the person of another, First-Degree Burglary, or Arson. If the person who has committed Conspiracy “knows or has reason to know” that one of their co-conspirators has conspired with other third parties to commit the same offense, then the defendant is also guilty of conspiring with those third parties, even if the defendant does not know their identities. Lastly, 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.

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Possible Punishment for Conspiracy

If a person has conspired to commit a class one (1) felony (i.e., Murder), then they can be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release until they have served twenty-five (25) years. In all other cases, the Conspiracy carries the same felony level and class of punishment as the most serious offense which was the object or result of the Conspiracy. For example, if the most serious offense that you and your co-conspirators agreed to was a class three (3) felony, you would be convicted and sentenced as though you had committed a class three (3) felony.

For a first offense class two (2) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of three (3) years to twelve and one half (12.5) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is four and one half (4.5) years to twenty-three and one quarter (23.25) years in prison. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is ten and one half (10.5) to thirty-five (35) years of incarceration.

For a first offense class three (3) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days to one (1) year in jail, or prison range of two (2) to eight and three quarters (8.75) years in prison. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction then the “prison only” range is three and one half (3.5) years to sixteen and one quarter (16.25) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is seven and one half (7.5) years to twenty-five (25) years of incarceration.

For a first offense class four (4) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of one (1) year to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is six (6) to fifteen (15) years of incarceration.

For a first offense class five (5) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of six (6) months to two and one half (2.5) years in custody. If the person has one (1) historical allegeable prior felony conviction, then the “prison only” range is one (1) to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) historical allegeable prior felony convictions then the “prison only” range is three (3) years to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration.

For a first offense a class six (6) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of four (4) months to two (2) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) historical allegeable prior felony conviction, then the “prison only” range is nine (9) months to two and three quarters (2.75) years in prison. If the person has two (2) historical allegeable prior felony convictions, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to five and three quarters (5.75) years of incarceration.

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Possible Defenses for Conspiracy

A key defense regarding Conspiracy involves the defendant’s lack of intent to promote or aid in the commission of an offense. This defense argues that although it appears by defendant’s actions that he helped someone commit an offense, or participated in committing an offense, the defendant actually had no knowledge of any criminal conduct or intent by the other parties; therefore, there was no agreement to do such actions for the purpose of committing an offense. Logically, one cannot make an agreement with another to do a crime that they know nothing about. For example, if the defendant was asked by a co-defendant to “loan me your car” or “drive me to the bank and wait outside while I go make a deposit” without any knowledge that the co-defendant was going to commit a bank robbery, then they are not guilty of Conspiracy. Just because somebody provides a critical piece of support which is necessary in the commission of a crime, they are not committing a crime unless they know that the co-defendants are intending on committing a crime.

An additional defense that is applicable in conspiracy cases is that there was no “overt act” done in furtherance of the offense. The statute requires that in order for there to be a conviction for conspiracy, there must have been an agreement in addition to an overt act towards accomplishing that criminal goal. For example, if two people agree to steal a car, they can only be convicted of conspiracy if they actually do something towards accomplishing that goal, like buying equipment to hot wire the car. Just verbal agreement is not enough for a conviction on conspiracy.

Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements. In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues. Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search, seizure, or wire-tapping warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; ballistics; gunshot residue testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc.. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled Conspiracy lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case.

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It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is an Arizona Conspiracy Attorney and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, P.C., the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Arizona Conspiracy Attorneys know the system well. For a free initial consultation, call us at 602-307-0808.

Contact The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor and speak to one of our Arizona Conspiracy Attorneys. We assist you with your Conspiracy case.

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