NRS 199.480: Criminal Conspiracy Laws in Nevada
Conspiracy is the agreement between two or more people to violate the law.
A person can be charged with conspiracy even if they didn’t actually carry out the agreed upon crime. Even if they attempt the crime and it doesn’t work out they can still be charged and convicted of conspiracy.
If the crime that the conspirators agreed upon ends up being carried out then they can be charged with the actual crime and conspiracy separately.
Many conspiracies involve plans to commit multiple crimes. In this case the defendants can only be charged with one count of conspiracy unless the intended crimes were all separate agreements.
A defendant can be charged with conspiracy no matter how small their role was in the attempted crime.
For example if three people agreed to rob a bank and two were the actual bank robbers and one was the driver, the driver will be charged with the same crimes even though they didn’t actually go into the bank and rob it. The only time the participation level matters is during sentencing.
The Driver may get a lesser sentence because they didn’t actually rob the bank.
Some examples of conspiracy:
- Two people working together and agree to shoplift
- Husband and wife agreeing to set their car on fire for insurance payout (which is also an example of insurance fraud)
- A gang agreeing to work together to shoot up a rival gang
The Difference Between Federal and Nevada Law Conspiracy
Federal law defines conspiracy differently from the law in Nevada. The federal prosecutors must prove both:
- The defendant agreed with at least one other person to commit a crime
- The defendant acted in pursuance of the agreement.
The federal law requires action of the overt act to commit the crime.
In Nevada, the law only doesn’t require that the defendant commit the overt act, only that the defendant makes the agreement with one or more people to commit the crime. It is much easier to convict someone of the crime of conspiracy on the state level versus the federal level.
In many cases, if the state fails to convict someone and the crime is serious, the state will ask the Federal Prosecutors to try and charge the defendant of the same crime on the federal level even with a different burden of proof.
What Are the Penalties
Conspiracy in Nevada N.R.S 199.480 is either a category B felony or a gross misdemeanor.
The case depends on the underlying crime that the defendant conspired to commit for example:
- Conspiracy to commit murder– Category B Felony 2-10 years in Nevada state prison and up to a $5,000 fine
- Racketeering-Category B felony 5-20 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine
- Robbery, Sexual Assault, Kidnapping, Arson, Involuntary Servitude, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Identity Theft, and Facilitating Sex Trafficking – All Category B felonies punishable by 1-6 years in prison
- All other charges- Gross Misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine
Remember these are just the charges and sentences for the conspiracy charges not the underlying crime itself. If the crime was committed you will be charged with the offense as well as the conspiracy charge.
For example you conspired with two others to rob a bank and you got caught robbing the bank.
You can be charged with bank Robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery.
You can be convicted of both crimes separately.
If you went to the bank and chickened out or were caught before the crime was committed you can only be charged with the conspiracy charge and not the crime since it never happened.
Defenses Against Conspiracy Charges
If the underlying crime was never committed, a conspiracy charge can be difficult to prove, since there may be no evidence to prove that there was an agreement between two or more people to commit an offense.
A good defense team will use the following defenses against the conspiracy charges against you.
- There was no agreement-It is not considered conspiracy to know about a crime or the conspiracy to commit the crime. If you simply were told about the crime by a person in the actual agreement, the charges should be dropped since you did not actually enter into the agreement but were only told information about the crime.
- The agreement was a legal one-agreement or arrangements are perfectly legal, unless they involve committing an illegal act. If the defense can prove that the defendant didn’t agree to break the law then the conspiracy charges should be dismissed.
- The evidence is inadmissible-If after an investigation, your defense team finds that the police have gained evidence like audio recording of phone calls without the proper search warrants, then your team can ask for the evidence to be thrown out. They can grant a motion to suppress evidence obtained illegally. If the only evidence they have is obtained without the proper search warrants, then the charges should be dismissed because of lack of evidence.
On the other hand it is not considered a conspiracy defense if the defendant’s conspirator was an undercover officer.
If the police officer entrapped the defendant into committing a crime that they would not have otherwise committed then the conspiracy charges should be dropped.
Criminal Conspiracy Similar Charges
There are a few charges that are similar to conspiracy or are often confused to be conspiracy.
However these charges involve charges to only one person and not two or more.
- Solicitation-This requires someone to offer or give something of value, usually money to another person with the intent that person commit a crime or unlawful act. Solicitation of prostitution is the most common form and the easiest to understand. For example a “John” gives a prostitute money to perform a sex act. The sex act is illegal since prostitution is illegal, so this is considered solicitation of prostitution.
- Attempt-This is when a person not just plans to break the law but actually carries out an attempt to commit the crime, even if the attempt fails. Attempted Murder is the most common form of attempt. If two people conspire to commit murder and one person actually attempts to kill another but fails, they can be charged with attempted murder.
You can be charged with conspiracy as well as the underlying crime like attempted murder and conspiracy to commit attempted murder.
Criminal Conspiracy Las Vegas Attorney
If you have been charged with criminal conspiracy, contact Nevada’s premier defense team, The Defenders, to set up a consultation where we can discuss your case and possible defenses, the facts of your case.
There are many ways that a good defense lawyer can get your criminal conspiracy charges either reduced or dismissed. Your best option if charged with a crime like criminal conspiracy is to find an aggressive defense team that will help you avoid severe punishment.
The Defenders team is committed to aggressively defending our clients against all criminal charges including criminal conspiracy. We have years of experience as a defense team. Our staff consists of many legal experts that specialize in all types of legal defense including criminal conspiracy charges.
Why Should You Hire Our Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys?
A common U.S. citizen has little or no information and knowledge about how law enforcement or legal systems work.
Hiring a lawyer who understands and has the knowledge of law and how court systems function is very essential if you have been charged with a crime.
A criminal defense lawyer will apply their legal skills and years of courtroom experience to the specifics of your case.
Every case is different and requires a different approach. Navigating the criminal justice system without a lawyer is not a good idea and can be very confusing, frustrating and risky. An experienced criminal defense attorney is connected to others within the legal system, so your case won’t be the attorney’s first experience in court.
Our defense attorneys know the procedures, the courtroom personnel, the judges, the jury selection process and the loopholes. When you don’t have an attorney representing you, there are a number of things that could go wrong.
Contact us today to get a free consultation, so you can learn more about how we can help with your case. Don’t let criminal conspiracy charges ruin your future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is conspiracy?
Conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. The agreement in and of itself is a criminal offense, regardless of whether the underlying crime actually took place.
How serious are conspiracy charges?
Criminal conspiracy charges vary in severity depending on the type of crime that was allegedly committed. Conspiracy charges can carry up to 20 year in prison, so consulting with a criminal defense attorney like The Defenders is essential.
Can I get my criminal conspiracy charges dropped?
Yes, it is possible to get your criminal conspiracy charges dropped depending on the facts of your case. Depending on what type of crime was allegedly committed and if there are sufficient legal defenses available, a qualified attorney can help you fight the criminal conspiracy charge and potentially have the charge reduced or dropped completely.
What should I do if I have been charged with criminal conspiracy?
The first thing you should do is contact an experienced and qualified criminal defense lawyer. They will be able to review all of the details of your case and advise you on the best course of action.