A crime called conspiracy involves two or more individuals who coordinate and intend to conduct another crime. Conspiracy in Nevada is defined as when two or more people work together to organize and carry out a different offense, such as:
- Sexual abuse
- Sex trafficking
For the conspirators to be found guilty of conspiracy, no overt act toward committing the crime is required.
More than one individual is needed for a conspiracy. However, even if the other conspirators are not being held accountable, defendants may still be found guilty of conspiracy.
For illustration, Jed, Thomas, and Harry plan to rob a Henderson bank. When the authorities learn of this, they detain Jed. Harry and Thomas leave the nation. Even though Jed’s co-conspirators are no longer alive, the D.A. can still bring a conspiracy case against him.
Plans to commit many crimes are common in conspiracies. But unless the intended crimes were a part of distinct agreements, the putative co-conspirators can only be charged with one count of conspiracy.
For instance, Molly and Teal want revenge on their former roommate. They want to rob her of her pocketbook and abuse her. Theft and assault are two distinct offenses. Molly and Teal are only charged with conspiracy because they participated in the same agreement.
Even if they have a smaller role than others in the conspiracy, participants are nonetheless held accountable. However, the degree of their involvement might be taken into consideration while sentencing.
Allegations of conspiracy have been present in an increasing number of white-collar criminal convictions in recent years. A person or business generally engages in conduct that constitutes a crime, an attempt at committing a crime, or the solicitation of someone to commit a crime, or agrees to assist another person or business in planning, committing, or attempting to solicit a crime, with the intent of facilitating or promoting its commission.
What Two Forms of Criminal Conspiracy Exist?
Whether government prosecutors attempt to depict the conspiracy as a “hub-and-spoke conspiracy” or a “chain conspiracy” is a procedural matter of crucial consequence to parties accused of conspiring.
Many people collude with one person in a hub-and-spoke conspiracy but not with other defendants. A defendant benefits when their acts are described as being a member of a hub-and-spoke conspiracy because it indicates that the conspiracies are distinct from one another.
Multiple individuals act as links in a long criminal chain in a chain conspiracy. Even if some of the other participants in the chain were strangers to the defendants, they are all nevertheless held accountable for their activities in chain conspiracies.
Are Solicitation and Conspiracy the Same Offense in Nevada?
No, they are distinct offenses. When someone is solicited, they are asked to commit a crime on the asker’s behalf. In a conspiracy, two or more persons collaborate to commit a crime. A conspirator is someone who actively participates in the crime and must collaborate with others to do so. The crime of solicitation must be carried out with the aid of a “middleman.”
Contrary to Nevada law, federal law defines conspiracy differently.
Prosecutors must demonstrate both in federal court:
- The defendant made an agreement to commit a crime with at least one other person, and
- The defendant carried out the agreement.
In order to be found guilty of a conspiracy, a person need not actively further the intended crime. One must only agree to breach the law once to be found guilty of conspiracy.
As a result, state conspiracy charges, which do not call for an overt conduct, are simpler to prove than federal conspiracy charges, which do.
What About Attempt and Conspiracy?
A conspiracy is not the same as an endeavor. An attempted crime can be defined as when a person makes a significant step toward committing another crime. Conspiracy does not call for a significant action, but it does call for at least two participants in the crime.
Both the actual crime and the criminal conspiracy are separate offenses. Defendants might be found guilty of both.
Example: Irene and Bob, who are married, decide to set fire to their Nevada neighbor’s home. They burn the window by tossing a burning match through it. They each face two charges if they are apprehended: 1) Arson; and 2) Arsonist conspiracy.
In the scenario mentioned above, if Irene and Bob threw the match but were unable to destroy the house, they would be charged with arson conspiracy and attempted arson.
Can I Receive a Prison Sentence in Nevada for Committing Conspiracy?
Yes. Conspiracy to conduct one of the felonious offenses mentioned above is likely to result in a category B felony conviction and a sentence of one to six years in prison. Even though it is still a category B felony, conspiracy to commit murder carries a sentence of two to 10 years in jail or a $5,000 fine. A conviction for conspiring to conduct racketeering carries a sentence of five to twenty years in prison.
Whenever is a Conspiracy Charge a Misdemeanor?
Yes. Conspiracy is a high misdemeanor punished by a year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine if it does not involve any of the aforementioned offenses.
What Benefits Are There to Punishing Someone for Criminal Conspiracy?
The prosecution has numerous clear benefits from filing a conspiracy case. In most cases, prosecutors can file charges even before the underlying crime is committed when a conspiracy is discovered early enough. Additionally, prosecutors could be able to charge multiple people at once and provide proof against the group.
Trial judges frequently have more sympathy for the prosecution as a result of the difficulty in gathering evidence in criminal conspiracy cases because the majority of the agreements must be inferred from the scant evidence that actually does exist.
What Common Defenses Are There?
Prosecutors may find it challenging to prove a conspiracy accusation, particularly if there is no tangible proof of such an agreement. Three responses to accusations of conspiracy are as follows:
- There was no knowledge: Having knowledge of an agreement to conduct a crime or discussing an agreement to commit a crime does not constitute conspiracy. Criminal conspiracy charges shouldn’t stand unless the D.A. can show that the defendant actually agreed to commit a crime.
- The deal was legitimate: Agreements are entirely legal unless they relate to a criminal offense. The court should dismiss any conspiracy accusations if there is inadequate proof that the defendant agreed to break the law.
- The evidence cannot be used: A defense attorney may attempt to have state evidence “thrown out” by claiming that the evidence was a result of an unauthorized search and seizure by the police. The state may not have a strong enough case to proceed if the court grants the defendant’s application to suppress evidence.
The fact that the defendant’s accomplice was a police officer working undercover is not a valid defense of conspiracy. However, the D.A. should abandon the conspiracy case if the police tricked the defendant into signing a document they knew they were not inclined to do.
Do I Require Legal Counsel for My Charge?
If you want to defend yourself against being accused of conspiring, you must have legal counsel. Get in touch with a Nevada criminal attorney immediately for assistance with your conspiracy charge.