Getting together with friends in Las Vegas can be fun. Getting together with friends to commit (or just plan to commit) a crime in Las Vegas can be a conspiracy, a serious offense that can lead to significant jail time.
Agreement to Commit a Crime is a Crime
Criminal conspiracy in Las Vegas is an agreement between two or more persons for an unlawful purpose (NRS 199.480). Note that the crime is not the “unlawful purpose” but the “agreement” itself.
You can be charged with and convicted of criminal conspiracy in Las Vegas simply for agreeing to commit a crime even if you don't take any steps to follow through on the plan. For Las Vegas prosecutors seeking a conspiracy conviction, “it shall not be necessary to prove that any overt act was done in pursuance of such unlawful conspiracy or combination.” (NRS 119.490).
If you actually commit the crime, you can be charged both with conspiracy and the underlying crime itself.
The fact that Las Vegas prosecutors don't have to show that the conspirators actually did anything beyond reaching an agreement makes it much easier to be convicted of conspiracy under Nevada law than under federal conspiracy law. If you are charged with a violation of federal conspiracy laws, prosecutors do have to show that an “overt act” was committed in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Penalties Depend on the Crime
The penalties for a Las Vegas, Nevada criminal conspiracy conviction depend on the crime that was the subject of the agreement.
Conspiracy to commit the following crimes is a Category B felony in Nevada:
- Sexual assault
- First or second-degree kidnapping
- First or second-degree arson
- Involuntary servitude
- Sex trafficking
- Human trafficking
With the exception of conspiracy to commit murder or for racketeering, a conviction for conspiracy to commit any of the above crimes can lead to a prison term of between 1 to 6 years.
A conviction for conspiracy to commit murder can result in a sentence of no less than 2 years and up to 10 years behind bars, while a racketeering conspiracy conviction can lead to a prison term of between 5 and 20 years.
A conspiracy to commit any other criminal offense under Nevada law will be prosecuted as a gross misdemeanor and upon conviction can result in a term of up to 364 days in a county jail and fines of up to $2,000.
Even though the bar is set pretty low for Las Vegas prosecutors in pursuing conspiracy charges, they still need to prove the existence of the agreement. There are defenses to conspiracy charges that an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can assert to fight and defeat the charges. If you have been arrested and charged with conspiracy in Nevada, please give us a call.