The Iowa crime of Conspiracy is defined by Iowa Code sections 706.1 and 706.3 as follows:
1. A person commits conspiracy with another if, with the intent to promote or facilitate the commission of a crime which is an aggravated misdemeanor or felony, the person does either of the following:
a. Agrees with another that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct constituting the crime or an attempt or solicitation to commit the crime.
b. Agrees to aid another in the planning or commission of the crime or of an attempt or solicitation to commit the crime.
2. It is not necessary for the conspirator to know the identity of each and every conspirator.
3. A person shall not be convicted of conspiracy unless it is alleged and proven that at least one conspirator committed an overt act evidencing a design to accomplish the purpose of the conspiracy by criminal means.
4. A person shall not be convicted of conspiracy if the only other person or persons involved in the conspiracy were acting at the behest of or as agents of a law enforcement agency in an investigation of the criminal activity alleged at the time of the formation of the conspiracy.
1. A person who commits a conspiracy to commit a forcible felony is guilty of a class “C” felony.
2. A person who commits a conspiracy to commit a felony, other than a forcible felony, is guilty of a class “D” felony.
3. A person who commits a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor is guilty of a misdemeanor of the same class.
The Class C felony version of conspiracy, which applies when a forcible felony conspiracy is alleged, carries a 10 year prison sentence in Iowa. The Class D felony version for non-forcible felonies carries a 5 year prison sentence, while misdemeanors can result in a 2 year prison sentence (aggravated misdemeanor), 1 year in the county jail (serious misdemeanor), or 30 days in the county jail (simple misdemeanor). Iowa law defines forcible felonies as certain crimes of violence (e.g. sexual abuse).
Conspiracy charges are often filed in Iowa along with drug charges, where the prosecution alleges that a person collaborated with another person to engage in drug distribution. In burglary, robbery, or theft cases where there are multiple alleged accomplices, a conspiracy charge is also common.
A person can be charged with conspiracy in Iowa under many circumstances, including some where a person who is not an attorney might not think that there was any “conspiracy” at all. The law concerning conspiracies can be rather technical, and a person facing a conspiracy charge in Iowa is wise to exercise their right to remain silent and seek an attorney at once.