Most criminal cases require a prosecutor to prove that a defendant committed a criminal act beyond a reasonable doubt. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Under certain circumstances, a person may face penalties even if they never actually committed a crime. Being accused of conspiring to commit a crime still requires the guidance of a skilled defense attorney.
Under Arizona state law, it is illegal to merely agree to commit an illegal act with another person. Still, the prosecutor must show that an agreement was in place and that an overt act occurred towards the furtherance of that crime. This means the person completed an action towards completing the crime. If this sounds confusing, you are not alone. Conspiracy charges can be complex, but our team of Chandler conspiracy lawyers could help you to better understand this complex concept and promote a defense against these serious allegations.
Conspiring to Commit an Offense
There is a set of criminal offenses under state law that punish people who do not take action that violates a state statute. We call these preparatory offenses. These laws aim to discourage behavior that goes against public policy but does not directly affect the well-being of others or physical property.
Conspiracy is perhaps the most common of these preparatory offenses. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1003, a person commits conspiracy when they agree with one or more other people to commit a criminal offense. In addition, one or more of these people must commit an overt act in furtherance of the agreement. For example, if people agree to sell drugs, they may prepare a list of potential buyers or scout out locations to make a sale.
A conspiracy case carries the same penalties as those of the agreed-to offense. For instance, conspiracy to rob a bank is just as serious as actually committing the robbery. A Chandler attorney could provide further information about the legal concept of conspiracy and the potential consequences of a conviction.
Defending Clients Against Conspiracy Charges
Because conspiracy charges can be difficult for a prosecutor to prove, a Chandler criminal defense lawyer has many opportunities to create reasonable doubt concerning the case. The most direct defense option involves disputing whether there was a true agreement to commit a crime. Furthermore, a defense attorney could challenge the legality of police work and the police investigation that led to the discovery of this alleged evidence.
The law also allows accused members of a conspiracy to raise a defense stating that they renounced the agreement, meaning the involved individuals announced they were not going to commit the act. Under AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1005, renunciation may be applicable when a defendant gave timely warning to law enforcement concerning the agreement or took other reasonable steps to prevent the criminal act.
Give a Chandler Conspiracy Attorney a Call Today
A conspiracy charge alleges that you agreed to commit a criminal offense with at least one other person. It does not matter that the crime was not successful or even that you never did anything that violated the law. As you can see, the mere fact that you agreed to commit a crime and took a step towards success can be enough to secure a conviction.
A Chandler conspiracy lawyer could help you to defend yourself against these allegations. They could work to contest the idea that there was an agreement or that you or another took an act towards committing a crime. In other cases, it may be possible to raise a defense involving your attempts to renounce the conspiracy. Contact our experienced criminal defense team today to learn more.