Conspiracy crimes

Conspiracy Crimes

What Are Conspiracy Crimes?

Conspiracy crimes refer to an offense that involves two or more individuals planning and working together to commit an illegal act. The crime of conspiracy can be charged regardless of whether the actual criminal act was completed or attempted.

Conspiracy crimes can be charged at the state and federal levels. It is also possible to be charged at both state and federal levels for the same crime.

Elements of Conspiracy:

  • An agreement between two or more individuals to commit a crime.
  • Intent to commit the underlying crime.

The crime of conspiracy is complete upon agreement, although some statutes require prosecutors to show that at least one of the conspirators has taken some concrete step or committed some overt act in furtherance of the scheme.


Some Common State Conspiracy Crimes Include:

Conspiracy to Commit Murder – When two or more people agree to unlawfully cause the death of another person.

Conspiracy to Commit Robbery – When two or more people agree to use force or threats to take another person’s property.

Conspiracy to Commit Burglary – When two or more people agree to unlawfully enter a building or structure with the intent to commit a theft or other felony.

Conspiracy to Commit Drug Trafficking – When two or more people agree to manufacture, distribute, or sell illegal drugs.

Conspiracy to Commit Fraud – When two or more people agree to engage in fraudulent activities, such as financial fraud, identity theft, or insurance fraud.

Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping – When two or more people agree to unlawfully abduct and hold another person against their will.

Conspiracy to Commit Arson – When two or more people agree to set fire to property unlawfully.

Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism – When two or more people agree to carry out acts of violence or terror to intimidate or coerce a government or civilian population.

Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering – When two or more people agree to conceal the origins of money obtained through illegal means.

Conspiracy to Commit Cybercrime – When two or more people agree to engage in illegal activities online, such as hacking, computer fraud, or spreading malware.

State Penalties Can Include:

Penalties for conspiracy offenses are often based on the severity of the underlying crime. If the conspiracy involves a felony, the penalties are typically more severe than those for conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor. The penalties may include fines, probation, community service, and incarceration.

Felony Conspiracy – If the underlying crime is a felony, then the conspiracy to commit that felony may also be charged as a felony offense. Penalties can include substantial fines and imprisonment. Sentences may range from a few years to decades in prison, depending on the specific felony and the jurisdiction’s laws.

Misdemeanor Conspiracy – If the underlying crime is a misdemeanor, then the conspiracy to commit that misdemeanor will likely be charged as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor conspiracy penalties typically involve smaller fines and shorter jail sentences compared to felony conspiracy charges.

Attempted Crime – Some jurisdictions treat conspiracy and attempted crime differently. In these cases, a person might be charged with both conspiracy to commit a crime and attempted commission of the crime itself, leading to additional penalties.

Specific Laws – Some states have specific statutes that address conspiracy to commit particular types of crimes, such as drug trafficking or gang-related activities. These laws may include enhanced penalties specific to those offenses.

Cooperation – In some cases, individuals charged with conspiracy may have the option to cooperate with law enforcement and provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of others involved. This cooperation might lead to reduced charges or lighter sentences.

Grading of Conspiracy – Some states may have different degrees or levels of conspiracy charges based on factors like the seriousness of the underlying crime, the number of people involved, and the level of planning and organization. These degrees may carry different penalties.

Attempted vs. Completed Conspiracy – In some jurisdictions, a conspiracy charge can be prosecuted even if the underlying crime was not completed. Attempted conspiracy may lead to lesser penalties than a completed conspiracy.

Some Common Federal Conspiracy Crimes Include – Conspiracy is a criminal offense under United States federal law. The penalties for conspiracy crimes can vary depending on the specific statute violated and the severity of the intended or committed offense.

Drug Conspiracy – Conspiring to distribute controlled substances can result in penalties ranging from a few years to life imprisonment, depending on the quantity and type of drugs involved. Fines can also be substantial, reaching millions of dollars.

Fraud Conspiracy – Conspiring to commit fraud, such as bank fraud, wire fraud, or securities fraud, can lead to significant prison terms – up to 20 or 30 years – and substantial fines.

Racketeering Conspiracy (RICO) – Conspiring to engage in organized crime activities under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) can result in up to 20 years in prison, forfeiture of assets, and hefty fines.

Terrorism Conspiracy – Conspiring to commit acts of terrorism can lead to various penalties, including life imprisonment, fines, and the possibility of the death penalty in extreme cases.

Murder-for-Hire Conspiracy – Conspiring to commit murder for hire can result in up to life imprisonment and fines.

Kidnapping Conspiracy – Conspiring to kidnap individuals can result in up to life imprisonment.

Conspiracy to Commit Cybercrime – Conspiring to engage in cybercrimes, such as hacking or identity theft, can result in significant prison terms and fines.

Conspiracy to Commit Immigration Fraud – Conspiring to commit immigration fraud can lead to imprisonment and fines, depending on the nature and extent of the conspiracy.

It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the penalties can be influenced by various factors, including the defendant’s criminal history, the level of cooperation with authorities, and the specific circumstances of the conspiracy.

Federal vs. State Laws – Conspiracy can be prosecuted under both federal and state laws. Federal conspiracy charges typically arise when the alleged crime involves multiple states, crosses state lines, occurred on federal land, or involves federal agencies or facilities.

Federal Penalties Can Include:

Penalties – The penalties for conspiracy are often similar to those for the underlying crime. In some cases, a conspiracy charge can carry the same maximum sentence as the crime itself, while in other instances, it may be slightly less severe.

Gradation – Conspiracies are often graded based on the seriousness of the planned crime. For example, conspiracies to commit minor offenses may result in less severe penalties than conspiracies involving serious offenses such as drug trafficking, terrorism, or murder.

Imprisonment – In many cases, conspiracy convictions can result in imprisonment. The length of the prison sentence depends on various factors, including the nature of the crime, the level of involvement of the conspirators, and any previous criminal history.

Fines – Convicted individuals may also be subject to significant fines, which can vary depending on the offense and jurisdiction.

Restitution – If the conspiracy resulted in financial losses or damages to victims, the court may order restitution payments to compensate the affected parties.

Criminal Record – A conspiracy conviction will result in a criminal record, which can have long-term consequences for the individual’s employment, housing, and other aspects of life.

Co-conspirator Liability – In conspiracy cases, each co-conspirator can be held responsible for the actions of others in the conspiracy, even if they did not directly commit the underlying crime.

What Does a Conspiracy Crimes Defense Attorney Do?

A conspiracy crimes defense attorney specializes in representing individuals who are charged with conspiracy offenses. Conspiracy is a criminal charge that involves an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime along with an overt act taken in furtherance of that agreement. The specific actions and goals of the conspiracy may vary, but the core element is the agreement to commit an illegal act.

The role of a conspiracy crimes defense attorney is to provide legal representation and counsel to individuals accused of being part of such a conspiracy. Here are some of the key tasks and responsibilities of a conspiracy crimes defense attorney:

Legal Advice and Consultation – The attorney will meet with the accused to discuss the charges, gather information about the case, and provide legal advice about the potential consequences and options available.

Case Assessment – The attorney will carefully review all the evidence presented by the prosecution and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case against their client.

Defense Strategy – Based on the evidence and circumstances of the case, the attorney will develop a defense strategy to protect their client’s rights and challenge the prosecution’s case.

Investigation – The attorney may conduct an independent investigation to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and uncover any additional information that may support the defense.

Negotiations – In some cases, the attorney may engage in plea negotiations with the prosecution to secure a favorable plea deal for their client, potentially reducing the charges or penalties.

Pretrial Motions – The attorney may file motions with the court to challenge the admissibility of certain evidence or seek to have the case dismissed based on legal grounds.

Court Representation – During the trial, the attorney will represent their client in court, present the defense’s case, cross-examine witnesses, and argue legal points to the judge or jury.

Expert Witnesses – If necessary, the attorney may retain and present expert witnesses who can provide specialized knowledge or testimony to support the defense.

Appeals – If the case results in an unfavorable outcome, the defense attorney may handle the appeals process to challenge the verdict or sentence.

Protecting Constitutional Rights – The defense attorney’s primary role is to protect the constitutional rights of their client, ensuring fair treatment and due process throughout the legal proceedings.

Conspiracy charges can be complex and challenging to defend against, as they often involve circumstantial evidence and the actions of multiple individuals. Therefore, a skilled and experienced conspiracy crimes defense attorney is essential to provide the best possible defense for the accused.

The lawyers at The Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm have been representing people charged with conspiracy crimes in both state and federal court for over three decades. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to provide the best possible defense of these charges.

To schedule a Strategy Session with an experienced conspiracy crimes attorney, contact the Attorneys For Freedom today. We can be reached online at or by calling our Arizona office at 480-755-7110.


Arizona Office Address:
3185 S. Price Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248
Phone: 480-755-7110
Hawai’i Office Address:
1003 Bishop Street, Suite 1260 Pauahi Tower
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813
Phone: 808-647-2423
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