Conspiracy Crimes

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Under Nevada law, specifically NRS 199.480, conspiracy is a crime that involves an “agreement” between two or more persons to commit an unlawful act.  Unlike many other states and the federal government, Nevada law (NRS 199.490) does not require the prosecution to show the parties took an overt act in furtherance of the crime of conspiracy. 

In other words, the crime is the “agreement” itself.  What does this mean in practical terms?  It means that even if you did not physically commit a crime in the state of Nevada, you can still be charged with the criminal offense of simply “agreeing” to commit a crime.

Elements of Criminal Conspiracy in Nevada

To be charged with conspiracy, the prosecution must prove the following:

  1. You agreed with another person to commit an act in Nevada.
  2. The act you agreed to commit was illegal under Nevada law.

The law states that no “overt act” to initiate the agreement is required to be proven like it is in the federal law for conspiracy charges.  What this means is that simply talking about and agreeing to commit a crime without taking any physical actions in furtherance of the agreement is enough to be charged with conspiracy.   

Agreeing to any of the following can lead to criminal charges:

  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Arson
  • Racketeering

In addition to the crimes listed above, agreeing to commit any other criminal or illegal action, or a legal action with criminal intent, qualifies as conspiracy.  Examples of agreements that could lead to conspiracy charges include the following:

  • Asking a “hit man” and having him agree to have your spouse murdered.
  • Agreeing with a friend to sexually assault someone you just met at a party.
  • Agreeing with a friend to sell drugs at a pool party on the Strip.
  • Agreeing with another person to make up facts to support an insurance claim.

These are just a few examples of agreements that could lead to criminal charges.  Under Nevada law, it’s easy for prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges.  Proving those charges, however, is a different story.  For this reason, having an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you is extremely important.  

What Are The Penalties For Conspiracy In Nevada?

Conspiracy charges can be classified as either a felony or misdemeanor with the associated penalties varying depending on the type of crime.

The penalties for conspiracy can be significant based on the crime.  Here are some examples:

  • Murder (Category B felony): Jail time of 2-10 years, fine of up to $5,000.
  • Robbery (Category B felony): Jail time of 1-6 years, and/or fine of up to $5,000.
  • Sexual assault (Category B felony): Jail time of 1-6 years, and/or fine of up to $5,000.
  • First- or second-degree kidnapping (Category B felony): Jail time of 1-6 years, and/or fine of up to $5,000.
  • First- or second-degree arson (Category B felony): Jail time of 1-6 years, and/or fine of up to $5,000.
  • Racketeering (Category B felony): Jail time of 5-20 years, fine of up to $25,000.
  • Other criminal actions/Legal action with criminal intent (gross misdemeanor): Jail time of not more than 364 days, fine of up to $2,000.

What Are The Defenses To A Charge Of Conspiracy?

Criminal conspiracy charges can be difficult for the prosecution to prove in court because they require showing an “alleged” agreement to commit a criminal act. The prosecution has the burden to prove to the court that you were involved in an agreement.  This might seem easy to prove but, with a good defense lawyer defending the charges, it can be challenging for the prosecution.  Charging someone with conspiracy (which is easy) is not the same as proving it (much harder).  In all criminal cases in Nevada, the prosecution must prove a person’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Among the most common defenses to a criminal charge of conspiracy are the following:

  • No valid agreement: The prosecution must prove you entered into a valid agreement to commit the alleged crime. If they cannot prove it was valid and illegal (agreements are legal unless involving a crime), then charges should be dropped.
  • Lack of evidence: The prosecution must provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that you agreed to commit the alleged crime. If they cannot, or the evidence is proven inadmissible, then charges should be dropped.
  • Lack of valid intent: The prosecution must prove that you knew the alleged crime would be committed and that you had a valid desire or intent to commit the alleged crime. If they cannot, then charges should be dropped.

The Vegas Lawyers Can Help If You’re Charged With Conspiracy

Being charged with conspiracy is a serious matter.  Depending upon what the government alleges you agreed to do, the penalties can be significant.

However, if you’re in this situation, don’t worry.  Having the right lawyer on your side can make a big difference.  At The Vegas Lawyers, our team of professionals have defended many conspiracy cases and we know what it takes to win at trial or get the prosecutors to drop charges when the facts warrant.

If you’re facing conspiracy charges, call us today for a free and confidential consultation by calling (702) 707-7000.

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