Conspiracy in Phoenix, AZ, A Powerful Weapon in Drug Prosecutions

by Aaron Black • September 14, 2018
A Conspiracy conviction can lead to jailIf you’ve been charged with conspiracy in relation to drugs, understand that the state may have the upper hand in getting a conviction for this criminal offense which could mean months or years behind bars. That’s because the amount of evidence required to prove conspiracy doesn’t have to be much as intent is all that’s necessary.

Conspiracy in Arizona’s preparatory offenses laws A.R.S. §13-1003 are stalwart weapons in combating drug possession, sales and trafficking that stem from a conspiratorial plot.

A conspiracy, by legal definition in Arizona, requires two or more participants conducting a secret plan to do something outside the law. The criminal goal of the conspiracy doesn’t need to be attempted or accomplished for the state to achieve a conspiracy conviction.

If a conspiracy’s objective is to commit several offenses the conspirators can be found guilty of only one count of conspiracy but for the most serious criminal objective sought.

Conspiracy Law’s Long Arm

Authorities may have been quietly conducting their investigation for quite some time to link all of the conspirators. They may even have infiltrated the conspiracy and wiretapped telephones. When Arizona or federal authorities arrive out of the blue and make arrests for conspiracy the people arrested may be surprised.

A conspirator who had a reasonable knowledge of others working to commit the same goal of the conspiracy can also be connected with the others, even if the conspirator didn’t know their identities.

Under A.R.S. §13-1003(A) a person who has the intent to promote or help a conspiracy no matter how small the roll is just as guilty as the conspiracy’s ring leader. That’s because the small roll the person played is an overt act to further the criminal goal of the conspiracy. Only one member of the conspiracy needs to make an overt act.

The law specifies that an overt act isn’t required if the goal of the conspiracy was a first degree felony burglary or arson of an occupied structure.

Punishments under Arizona’s Conspiracy Law

A conspiracy conviction is punished with the same seriousness as the conspiracy’s intended crime.

For example:
  • If the intended crime was a class 3 felony, the conspiracy will be charged as a class 3 felony even if the conspiracy’s aim failed
     
  • Those conspiring to commit the most serious felony, a class 1 murder felony, face life in prison without release for any reason until 25 years is served in state prison

Facilitation Law for Conspiracy Aiders

If you knew someone was intending to commit a crime, or is committing a crime, and you provided that person with the opportunity or the means to carry it out, you will be charged with “facilitation” under A.R.S. 13-1004.

Unlike conspiracy, facilitation has four levels of seriousness based on the intended crime.
  • If you are charged with facilitation, you will be charged with a class 5 felony if the intended offense was a class 1 felony which is the most serious of felonies in Phoenix, Arizona
     
  • You’ll face a class 6 felony for facilitation if the intended crime was a class 2 or class 3 felony
     
  • This level drops to misdemeanor charges for facilitation and you will receive the most serious class 1 misdemeanor if the offense was a class 4 or 5 felony
     
  • A class 3 misdemeanor is charged for facilitation if the offense was a class 6 felony or a misdemeanor
Please not that if you learn of the conspiracy and report it to law enforcement in a timely fashion for them to prevent the conspiracy’s goal you can’t be charged however, you will be required to testify at trial.

Defending a Conspiracy Charge in Phoenix, AZ

The defense attorney’s goal is to establish reasonable doubt to earn an acquittal.
  • Show you had no knowledge of the conspirators plan

    You can be acquitted of conspiracy if the defense can show you had no knowledge of the conspirators plan and therefore had no legal intention of participating or aiding in it.
     
  • Overt act to advance the conspiracy

    Another defense is that you didn’t commit an overt act to advance the conspiracy. An overt act can be renting a car or just about anything.
     
  • Entrapment

    Entrapment is a defense. This happens if a law enforcement officer who is probing a conspiracy in some way coerced you, such as threatening personal or financial harm, to do something that you wouldn’t have done on your own.
     
  • Duress

    Duress is a defense if one or more members of the conspiracy threatened you if you didn’t join the conspiracy.
     
  • Procedurally

    Procedurally, law enforcement’s violation of your constitutional rights is a defense, such as failing to tell you at the time of arrest that you have the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination.
     
  • Evidence illegally obtained

    Insufficient evidence, planted evidence, and evidence illegally obtained are defenses and other defenses may be available depending upon the circumstances of the case.
     
  • Plea bargaining

    Plea bargaining can occur in conspiracy cases. To bolster its case the prosecution may offer a reduced charge and shorter sentence if you agree to testify against the other conspirators

    In these agreements the defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to achieve the best possible result for you.

Hiring a criminal defense attorney

You’re entitled by law to the best legal defense possible. So you’ll need a veteran criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, AZ who has experience working drug conspiracy cases to build a defense and protect your legal rights under the U.S. Constitution.

The Law Office of Aaron Black has years of experience in this area of law. To contest the state’s case I will examine the following:
  • Thorough review of State’s evidence
     
  • Conduct my own investigation looking for flaws in the police investigation
     
  • Challenge the statements and reliability of witnesses and the admissibility of physical evidence
     
  • Search for errors in legal procedures that may render certain evidence inadmissible under the rule of law
     
  • I also will work to develop mitigating evidence to aid in your defense
I work earnestly for my clients, providing compassion and support for what they are going through.

Free legal consultation

I understand that good people sometimes find themselves in bad situations. Contact Phoenix, AZ Criminal Defense Attorney Aaron Black or call 480-729-1683. I will evaluate your case and discuss your options.