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Building an effective defense strategy against any criminal allegation in Arizona is a complex process with numerous factors that must be considered. Things can get particularly complicated if you face criminal charges without actually committing a specific offense—or in other words, if you are charged with “conspiracy.”
The penalties associated with a conspiracy charge can vary substantially based on the underlying offense you allegedly planned to commit. Regardless of the specific accusations against you, it is best to work with a Tempe conspiracy lawyer. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our seasoned defense attorneys work to achieve a positive resolution to your case and enforce your rights at every stage of the proceedings.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes §13-1003, criminal conspiracy occurs when someone agrees with one or more people to engage in unlawful conduct with the intent to facilitate the commission of a crime, and one or more of the people who participated in that agreement takes some overt action “in furtherance of the offense.” As a local attorney could further explain, a person does not necessarily have to know the identity of any other party involved in an alleged conspiracy to face charges under this section of state law.
However, what counts as “furtherance” of a criminal conspiracy is not clearly established under state law. This gives law enforcement substantial leeway in defining this element of the offense. Furthermore, no overt act is necessary for all involved parties to be charged with conspiracy if they are accused of planning to commit:
In most situations, conspiracy is categorized in the same criminal class as the offense the defendant(s) intended to commit. For example, conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary would be a class 3 felony or a class 2 felony, depending on whether the property involved was nonresidential or residential. If at least two people conspire to commit two or more criminal offenses together as part of a single larger plan, the severity of an ensuing conspiracy charge will be based on the most serious single offense involved in the conspiracy.
Notably, there is an exception to this rule for conspiracy to commit any class 1 felony offense. Anyone who conspires to commit a crime of this severity may be punished by life imprisonment with no eligibility for release under any circumstances until they have served 25 years minimum. When the stakes are this high, working with a seasoned conspiracy lawyer at our Tempe office is critical.
In terms of potential criminal sanctions, Arizona state law makes virtually no distinction between actually committing a criminal offense and furthering a plan with other people to commit a criminal offense in the future. If you are accused of conspiring to commit a crime, you need to seek legal representation as soon as possible.
Guidance from legal counsel can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Call a Tempe conspiracy lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group today to begin discussing your defense strategy.