The law defines conspiracy as agreeing with others to commit a serious criminal offense and act to complete it. This can include drafting a detailed plan, scouting a specific location, stalking an individual, purchasing weapons, or any other equipment to prepare for your criminal act.
Keep in mind that law enforcement could charge you for conspiracy even if you have not committed your planned crime. Your involvement in planning is enough for a criminal conviction if the prosecution has reasonable evidence. Conspiracy charges can fall under state or federal jurisdiction depending on the specific circumstances. Each person involved in the conspiracy can face different accusations too.
No matter your situation, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you face a criminal accusation of conspiracy. This can make a significant difference in obtaining a reduction or dismissal of charges.
What Are Common Types of Conspiracy Accusations?
Conspiracy charges cover a wide range of offenses, including:
- Conspiracy against a government official
- Conspiracy to commit fraud, including bank, wire, or healthcare fraud
- Money laundering conspiracy
- Conspiracy to commit murder including rape, arson, kidnapping, and robbery
- Non-murder conspiracy where a person dies
- Drug possession or trafficking conspiracy
- Conspiracy for obstruction of justice
Prosecutors often file for federal conspiracy charges when the conspiracy involves various types of offenses.
What Penalties Can a Conspiracy Criminal Conviction Result In?
Conspiracy charges can result in misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the case. A conspiracy conviction may be a felony even though the underlying criminal offense would result in a misdemeanor conviction. A conspiracy felony conviction can result in the same penalties as those a judge would apply for committing the alleged and/or planned crime.
If a judge convicts you of conspiracy charges, you can face a state or federal prison sentence, probation, and/or fines. Any conviction can negatively affect your professional and personal life, but a felony has especially lasting consequences.
How Important Is Hiring a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney?
State and federal laws that govern conspiracy are complex and you can face charges that involve multiple offenses. This is why you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you face conspiracy charges. Your lawyer can help you cooperate with law enforcement and any governmental agency investigators.
A reputable criminal defense attorney carefully reviews your situation and can help you build a strong defense to secure a positive outcome. They can also conduct their separate investigation which includes speaking with witnesses and medical or financial experts.
Throughout the legal process, your lawyers help ensure the protection of your rights and that you receive a fair trial.
What Defense Strategies Do I Have?
Federal prosecutors usually have extensive resources for their investigation and effectively gather substantial evidence. Another complication you may face is if your co-conspirators made a deal that involves testifying against you.
Effective conspiracy defense strategies can rely on proving that:
- You did not get involved in any agreement to commit a crime, so the conspiracy did not exist
- You had no intent to commit a crime
- You did not know the plan involved criminal activity
- You withdrew your support from the conspiracy
- You participated in the conspiracy under coercion or duress
Your attorney can also investigate whether some evidence does not apply to you. Or whether a judge could agree to suppress certain evidence against you. An aggressive defense can make a significant difference in getting a dismissal of the charges against you, especially when it comes to federal prosecution.
Do you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tacoma? Contact Hester Law Group today at (253) 300-3034 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the conspiracy charges you are facing.