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Prosecutors bring conspiracy charges when they believe an individual planned to commit a crime with someone else. The crime is in the planning—it does not matter if the plan failed or the alleged conspirators never attempted it.
Conspiracy can be a severe offense, as it usually carries the same penalties as the crime you allegedly planned to commit. If you are facing conspiracy charges, you must take them seriously. The evidence in conspiracy cases is often complex, so working with an experienced attorney is essential.
Reach out to a Citrus Park conspiracy lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group as soon as you learn you are being investigated. If you have been arrested, make the call from jail before speaking with officers or prosecutors. We are prepared to fight tirelessly for you and your rights.
Arizona Statutes §13-1003 defines conspiracy as planning or arranging with another person to commit an offense. It does not matter whether anyone acted on the plan if the conspiracy involved murder, arson, first-degree burglary, or a crime involving physical harm to another person. For non-violent offenses, at least one party must have taken a step toward committing the crime for a conspiracy charge to result in a conviction.
Conspiracy is usually an add-on charge, meaning prosecutors charge conspiracy with other charges relating to the specific crime. However, in some circumstances, a person will face just a conspiracy charge. Prosecutors might use the threat of a conspiracy conviction to convince an accused to provide information about others involved in an alleged criminal scheme. In some cases, cooperation with prosecutors makes sense and could result in a more favorable outcome for an accused. A Citrus Park lawyer could advise on whether agreeing to provide information might be the best way to resolve a conspiracy charge.
A skilled local attorney works to ensure that police conducted their investigation and compiled evidence in accordance with the law. Sometimes, law enforcement officers overstep boundaries or violate a suspect’s rights while seeking evidence.
Our legal team in Citrus Park could speak with the accused, review the arrest report, look at the prosecutor’s evidence of the conspiracy, and determine whether there is cause to question police procedures. Suppressing the evidence could be possible if the police work involved:
An attorney also could challenge the evidence if the police investigation relied on a paid informant or the testimony of an alleged co-conspirator.
Even if a judge allows the prosecutor to use the evidence the police obtained improperly, a seasoned conspiracy lawyer in Citrus Park could convince the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce the charges.
If an accused person pleads guilty to conspiracy or a jury finds them guilty, the judge must apply a sentence according to a complicated scheme set out in the law. Each crime carries a presumptive sentence, and the judge could subtract time from the sentence for mitigating factors and add time for aggravating factors.
The judge has more flexibility if the accused has no prior convictions and could sentence them to probation with no jail time. However, the presumptive sentence increases if the accused has a criminal history. In addition, the law imposes harsher penalties for dangerous crimes, which are crimes involving a weapon or physical harm to an alleged victim. A person with more than one conviction for a dangerous crime could face decades in prison.
When the conviction is for conspiracy, the punishment is the same as for the underlying crime. If a first offender is convicted of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, they might receive a fine or probation. However, even a first offender convicted of conspiracy to commit murder could get the same sentence as someone convicted of murder, even if the crime never occurred. A Citrus Park conspiracy attorney could collect evidence to protect a defendant’s future and mitigate the potential penalties.
Many people think that if a crime never happened or they were not involved in committing it, a conspiracy charge is not a big deal. However, conspiracy charges are serious and could lead to lengthy prison sentences even if no one carried out the plan.
A Citrus Park conspiracy lawyer has the know-how to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and use them to your advantage. Get in touch with Grand Canyon Law Group today to discuss your case.