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What is Crime of Facilitation in Arizona?

Facilitation in Arizona is a preparatory crime that is charged to individuals who have knowingly acted in a manner that provides another individual with the opportunity or ability to commit a crime. What that simply means is someone that helps another person commit a crime is a facilitator. While that individual actually committing the crime is charged with the crime, the facilitator is charged with facilitation under ARS 13-1004.

The most important point of facilitation charges is that the individual “knowingly” contributed to the crime by helping the other person who attempted or intended to commit the crime.

Prosecutors usually argue that ARS 13-1004 includes all activity used to commit a crime, such as providing another person with the tools or a vehicle to commit burglary.

Facilitation can often appear similar to conspiracy. But facilitation lacks the intricate planning of conspiracy and there may be no specific agreement between the individuals that the offense will be committed.

In many circumstances, the defendant agreed to help someone without realizing their intention to commit a crime. A defendant may be charged with the crime “after the fact.” This means that they provided assistance to a person who already committed a crime, such as in hiding tools or a vehicle used to commit a crime.

Regardless of how or why the alleged crime of facilitation was committed, it is very important that you gain the help of a criminal defense lawyer experienced in facilitation law as soon as you are aware of charges.


Examples of Facilitation

When one person commits a crime and asks another to help them in any manner to commit that crime or avoid getting caught committing the crime, it can be considered facilitation. Unlike conspiracy, facilitation is not generally premeditated or planned.

Some examples of facilitation include:

  • Hiding equipment, tools, or other things used to commit a crime
  • Offering assistance or resources to individuals who committed a crime
  • Loaning vehicles, weaponry or other objects to someone so they can commit a crime

These acts of facilitation may occur without the facilitator having knowledge of a crime being committed. Lack of knowledge of the criminal offender’s activities or intent can be used to avoid facilitation charges.


Facilitation Penalties in Arizona

Because facilitation is not planned or premeditated as an agreement to commit a crime, facilitation charges are generally considerably less severe than conspiracy. Facilitation may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony with the severity depending upon the other person’s committed crime.

As examples:

  • If the criminal commits a class 1 felony, such as murder, the facilitation charge can be a class 5 felony with penalties of probation with zero days to one year of jail or prison ranging from six months to two and a half years for a first offense. For individuals with prior convictions, the prison sentence is between one and 1-3/4 years. Two prior convictions lead to between three and 7.5 years in prison.
  • If the criminal commits a class 2 or class 3 felony, the facilitation charge can be a class 6 felony, being punished through zero days to one year in jail or prison time ranging from four months to two years for a first offense, nine months to two and three quarter years of prison time with a prior conviction. For an individual with two prior convictions, the sentence may be 2-1/4 to 5-3/4 years in prison.
  • If the criminal commits a class 4 or class 5 felony, the facilitation charge can be a class 1 misdemeanor with punishment of probation with zero days to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine that carries an 84 percent surcharge.
  • If the criminal commits a class 6 felony or misdemeanor, the facilitation charge can be a class 3 misdemeanor with penalties of probation and up to 30 days in jail plus a $500 fine with an 84 percent surcharge.

Reducing Facilitation Charges in Arizona

Several strong defenses for facilitation in Arizona may be used. These defenses can be favorable for defendants, just as the facilitation charge carries less severe penalties when compared to conspiracy.

The primary approach is for the criminal defense attorney to attempt to prove that the defendant had no prior knowledge of the crime or the intent of another party to commit the crime and was innocent of facilitation. Duress is another defense, with the defendant being proven to have committed facilitation without a choice, due to fear of worse consequences.

Defense attorneys in facilitation cases can also argue Miranda rights violation and denial to right of counsel, as may be used in other cases. Forensic flaws can be argued and proven. Intimidation or coercion by law enforcement toward confession for the crime can also be used in defense.

DM Cantor is AV® rated with the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell® and highly experienced in facilitation defense. David Michael Cantor is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. To schedule a free case review, please call our offices 24 hours a day at (602) 307-0808 or send a confidential email.

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