Conspiracy Criminal Charges in Arizona and the Renunciation Defense under A.R.S. 13-1005
In today’s video we’re talking about conspiracy, and more specifically the defenses to any conspiracy charges in Arizona.
In a separate video we defined what conspiracy is, and how a person can be charged with it, and we’re not talking about the JFK assassination, we’re talking about a criminal charge in Arizona called conspiracy.
So if somebody that you know or love, or you yourself has been charged with conspiracy, here is how you can break the conspiracy charge.
There are a number of ways you can do that by attacking the underlying elements, but the law gives us a specific defense to conspiracy, which may or may not apply to you, but it’s something that it’s important you know exists. So let’s dive into it and see how it works.
It’s defined by A.R.S. 13-1005, and it’s specifically referring to 13-1003, the 1003 is the conspiracy charge, 1005 is the renunciation, it’s the defense to conspiracy, so how does it work? We need a couple different elements.
We need, first and foremost, if you are involved in a conspiracy, so this is saying that if you meet the elements of the underlying conspiracy charge, how do we defend against it?
First and foremost, you need a complete and voluntary renunciation of criminal intent.
So that’s saying you were in the conspiracy, you were a part of it, you acknowledge that you were a part of it, you had the intent to further the underlying criminal offense that the conspiracy was involved in.
But you are now renouncing it, you’re now saying I am giving up all of my criminal intent, I don’t want anything to do with it.
That’s the first part of it. You need to relinquish your intent, you need to withdraw that intent.
You also need to make a reasonable effort to prevent the result of the underlying conspiracy from happening.
So you need to do something that is considered to be reasonable to actually pull away from the conspiracy.
You wanna prevent the results from happening. So there’s a lot of argument about what that means, what is reasonable under the circumstances, is just pulling out of it, is just saying I’m not going to be involved in what you guys are doing anymore, reasonable?
There’s a lot of arguments, there’s a lot of facts that are important to it. What if you do something else that may cause yourself harm, or harm to your family, or harm to some property, or whatever it is.
What would a reasonable person, under these circumstances, do to prevent the result from happening.
So there’s a lot of argument for that, a lot of this is open to interpretation, you can see this defense can be very, very broad.
What I think is reasonable might be different from what you think is reasonable, which may be different from what our mothers think is reasonable.
There’s a lot of room for interpretation but what is reasonable, that’s up in the air. That’s the question.
There is something that you can do, you can timely warn law enforcement about it, that would almost perse, just as a matter of fact, as a matter of law, be reasonable.
You can call law enforcement and say look, I was involved in this thing, I know that X, Y, and Z is gonna happen, you guys should get involved and stop it.
The law says, this is written into the statute, that would be something that you can do to take some sort of action to withdraw, to prevent the effects from happening.
That would be something very concrete.
So let’s dive into what is not renunciation.
So we know that this is renunciation, you are renouncing your intent to be a part of it, but it’s not gonna be considered renouncing it if it’s only made because one of these three things.
If it becomes clear that it’s more likely that you’re going to get caught by being a part of the conspiracy, and you’re only pulling out because you don’t wanna get caught, and get in trouble, that’s not gonna be renunciation, they’re not gonna give you credit for that.
They’re gonna say that you didn’t voluntarily relinquish your criminal intent. Inside, you were sort of coerced, you were scared into renouncing it, because of the fact that you were going to get caught. They’re not gonna let you get out of the conspiracy just because you’re gonna get caught.
The second thing, is that if it’s gonna be more difficult to actually complete the underlying offense, so if we use the bank robbing example, if you’re looking at the bank, you think it can be successful, you wake up the next day, suddenly, the bank has installed extra security you weren’t accounting for, now that robbery’s gonna be much more difficult to complete.
If you back out of the conspiracy at that point, the fact that you backed out because of the increased security, or the fact that it was gonna be a lot more difficult for you to be successful in completing that, it’s not gonna be considered a renunciation.
You’re not gonna be considered to have renounced voluntarily your participation in the conspiracy, so it won’t be a defense.
And finally, if the underlying conspiracy, or the underlying offense that are happening as a result of the conspiracy are only being postponed. If they’re saying this is not a good time, we’re gonna do it later, that’s not gonna be considered to be removing yourself from the conspiracy.
Also, if you’re gonna be changing one location to another, so we’re gonna rob that bank, we’re gonna rob this bank, that’s not renunciation.
If you’re going to be taking advantage, or doing something to one person, and that person is substituted for person B, instead of person A, again, that doesn’t count.
Just because the underlying conspiracy changed as to a certain set of circumstances, and they’ve realigned someplace else, that doesn’t mean that the conspiracy is now dissolved, it just means that it’s been refocused on somewhere else.
So that’s not gonna be considered under this defense, you can’t renounce your involvement in the conspiracy just because of that. And it’s important to also know that if you are watching this video because you might be involved in something, and you’re considering backing out of it, that any warning to law enforcement must be made timely, it must be made timely enough for the law enforcement agency to go do something about it.
So you can’t call them a minute before the activity’s supposed to happen, ’cause that wouldn’t give them a reasonable amount of time to go do something about it.
They need enough time to act and response appropriately in order to stop the effects of the underlying offense that culminated as a result of the conspiracy.
So this is just one defense to it, there are many, many other defenses.
A lot of the defenses can be based upon the underlying offense, the underlying criminal allegations, but also attacking the elements of the actual conspiracy charge itself, which again I addressed in another video.
So if you, or somebody that you know or love, has been charged with conspiracy, this can be a very, very serious charge in Arizona, especially if you’ve got prior offenses.
So gives us a call, we offer free case evaluations, we’ll have you come into the office, we’ll sit down, we’ll review the facts of your cace, we’ll see if this applies at all.
See if we can work this into our case, so that we can make sure that you are able to move forward with a solid plan, and a solid outcome.
Give us a call, we look forward to speaking with you soon, thanks for watching.
A defense to the charge of conspiracy can be renunciation. It is an affirmative defense, requiring the defendant to prove certain elements before the state is required to disprove them. However, given the appropriate circumstances, it is a valuable tool to use if charged with conspiracy. Conspiracy requires a plan of two or more person to commit some type of criminal offense. Burglary, fraud, kidnapping are excellent examples of crimes that can be committed by a group of people and could lead to an additional charge of conspiracy. Renunciation is the technical term for quitting a conspiracy. However, the criminal defense of renunciation requires much more than just simply ending your participation. Renunciation, as the term implies, requires that a defendant actively works against the conspiracy. There are two traditional elements to renunciation. First, there needs to be an abandoning of intent. One must show that the intent to commit the underlying criminal act is no longer present in the person who is claiming renunciation. Proving intent in a criminal court requires circumstantial evidence unless a confession exists. A prosecutor cannot reach into the mind of the defendant and extract his or her thoughts. To prove intent a prosecutor will interpret various actions by the defendant and explain why they show that the defendant planned to commit that act he or she is accused of committing. This is also true when proving intent no longer exists. For example, if a defendant is charged with conspiracy to rob a bank, let’s assume the defendant claiming renunciation is tasked with the job of obtaining a getaway car. In order to show that the defendant no longer had intent to commit the bank robbery, the defense attorney will show the jury that the defendant failed to rent a car, or failed to provided a car or did not show up at a designated meeting spot with the car. Proving no intent exists is a fact-based analysis that is driven by the totality of the circumstances.
Much like disproving intent, the next element to renunciation is can be a fact-based analysis. Renunciation also requires that the defendant show he or she made a reasonable effort to prevent the conspiracy and underlying criminal act from happening. Obviously, the best way to do this is to inform the police or law enforcement of the event with enough time to stop the event. However, that is not the only way to prove prevention. If a defendant is scared or threatened by his fellow conspirators, other acts can be interpreted as prevention. Thwarting the crime from taking place is prevention. Acting in any way to prevent the successful completion of the plan will act as prevention. If a defendant tells another person to call the police because he cannot. That can be proof of prevention. In a kidnapping situation, if the defendant releases the kidnapped person before that person is transported, that may be enough to show prevention. It is not renunciation to abandon a plan because a defendant will be caught, nor is it renunciation to maintain a criminal intent but merely switch objectives. Renunciation can be an excellent defense to conspiracy. It is a fact-based analysis that can thwart the Prosecutor’s attempt to put a defendant behind bars.