Conspiracy is a very general and broad type of crime that is a powerful tool used by prosecutors to describe a wide variety of illicit activity. Conspiracy charges can be extremely difficult to defend against.
A federal criminal defense lawyer representing a defendant charged with conspiracy must work tirelessly to fully understand the evidence that the government will bring to trial.
In federal criminal law, a conspiracy is only proven when there was an agreement to commit a federal offense between two or more people. Additionally, federal law requires that at least one person made some type of overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.
The primary statute for conspiracy is 18 U.S.C. § 371. This statute makes it a criminal act to engage in a conspiracy to defraud the US government. It also makes it a crime to engage in a conspiracy that violates any federal law.
The US Code also has additional sections that cover more specific types of conspiracy offenses. For example, 21 U.S.C. § 846 makes it a federal offense to participate in a conspiracy to manufacture or distribute controlled substances. Furthermore, 18 U.S.C. § 1951, makes it a federal crime to commit a robbery in interstate commerce, includes a specific subsection criminalizing conspiracy relating to federal robbery charges.
Federal law is broad when it comes to a conspiracy offense. In fact, a person may be convicted of conspiracy with another codefendant, even if they never met. All that is required is that the person knew that another person was doing some act to further the conspiracy. This means that in a larger, highly distributed conspiracy where many of the codefendants don’t know each other, most of the codefendants may still be found guilty for conspiracy.
This is a very serious offense. In fact, one of the harshest things about a conspiracy charge is that a defendant with a very low-level understanding and involvement in the conspiracy could be held responsible for the crimes of a far more culpable and involved co-conspirator. This is almost universally true in federal drug conspiracy cases. A person with a minor role in a drug case may be at risk to serve a stiff mandatory minimum sentence for the large quantities of drugs sold in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Penalties for Federal Conspiracy Charges
The federal conspiracy family of charges may be punished by a fine of $250,000 for one person and $500,000 for a group or organization.
To learn more about federal conspiracy crimes, call Invictus Law for a free consultation. Our Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers are skilled advocates in conspiracy cases and have a record of success achieving the best possible outcome. Our team will review your case and assist you in selecting the most favorable course of action for defending against these serious criminal charges.