In most criminal cases, a prosecutor must prove that a defendant acted in a way that violates a specific criminal law. However, a smaller subset of state laws can result in punishment even if a defendant does not commit an illegal act. A typical example is a criminal conspiracy.
If you are accused of planning to commit a crime, call a Scottsdale conspiracy lawyer for help. A skilled attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can explain the relevant laws and evaluate the circumstances that led to your arrest. We are prepared to investigate the situation, fight the prosecutor’s case, and protect your rights during every court session.
Conspiracy is an example of a situation where police can make an arrest, and prosecutors can pursue charges in court even if a defendant did not break any of the state’s criminal laws.
Under Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1003, a person is involved in a conspiracy when they agree with one or more people to act together to commit a criminal offense. On the surface, this may appear to be a simple agreement between two or more people. However, the law requires more than just this agreement.
For a conspiracy to occur, the people involved must take some overt act toward committing their crime. For instance, an alleged conspiracy to rob a bank may involve obtaining weapons or arranging for a get-away vehicle. A Scottsdale attorney can further explain the concept of a criminal conspiracy and the reasons for an arrest.
Convictions for conspiracy are serious matters. Under the state’s conspiracy statute, a conviction carries a punishment identical to the alleged crime the defendants were preparing to commit. This means that if the plan was to commit a class 2 felony, a conviction for conspiracy is also a class 2 felony. The only exception is when the underlying case is a class 1 felony. Here, convictions come with a mandatory minimum 25-year prison sentence. When the stakes are this high, it is essential to work with a seasoned conspiracy attorney at our Scottsdale office.
A key concept in any conspiracy case is the idea of intent. A prosecutor must prove that two or more people clearly understood that they were going to commit a crime together.
To refute these allegations, a Scottsdale conspiracy lawyer could introduce evidence that a defendant took steps to renounce the agreement. AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1005 says that a renouncement is an affirmative defense to conspiracy charges. However, a defendant must show that they took steps to inform law enforcement about the pending crime. An attorney at our firm could investigate whether this defense is available in a specific conspiracy case.
Many people do not know they could face an arrest and criminal prosecution even if they never committed a crime. However, you may be charged with allegedly agreeing to commit an illegal act under the state’s conspiracy laws. A conspiracy case carries the same penalties as if you had committed the act. As such, you must be proactive in protecting yourself and your way of life.
Hiring a Scottsdale conspiracy lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. At Grand Canyon Law Group, we can explain the concept of a conspiracy and work to defend your rights throughout the legal process. Give us a call now to set up a consultation.