If you and one or more people plan a crime, you may be guilty of conspiracy. All it takes is for one of the conspirators to get arrested — and everyone who planned together will probably also be charged.
The federal conspiracy statute makes it illegal to conspire to commit a criminal offense or to defraud the US government or any federal agency. Under this law, you can be sentenced to serve years in a federal prison even if you were not the one who committed, or attempted to commit, the actual crime.
To establish that there was a conspiracy, a federal prosecutor must prove that two or more people agreed to violate a law, each conspirator knew about the agreement and planned to be part of it, and some action occurred to further the conspiracy.
Your association with the conspiracy is the important element. Even if you just played a small role, you can still be sentenced to up to five years in a federal penitentiary for a federal felony conspiracy conviction.
Federal prosecutors often file conspiracy charges against minor members of a conspiracy to motivate them to testify against conspiracy leaders in return for a lesser sentence or dismissal of some charges. They also choose conspiracy charges so they can convict many members of a planned criminal effort more easily, using a wide net, without having to use extensive, time-consuming methods to pinpoint exactly what everyone’s role was in the crime.
If you are indicted for a drug conspiracy or an other conspiracy charge, you will need to retain a defense attorney who will stand up to federal authorities and protect your rights.
Questions? Contact us today.
If you are charged with a federal crime, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect your constitutional rights. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.