Conspiracy cases in the federal court system are confusing to many people. The federal government usually charges conspiracy when two or more people get together to commit a federal crime. The conspiracy concept permits federal prosecutors to arrest and convict members of a group who where not necessarily involved in all aspects of a crime. The key concept that prosecutors must prove is that all the members of the conspiracy agreed to be involved with a crime and they all had the same general objective. In my experience, conspiracy cases are typically filed related to drug charges.
Many times people are arrested for carrying drugs that have no idea what type of drugs they are carrying or who will receive the drugs. The issues becomes whether the person carrying the drugs knew or reasonably should have known that the subject narcotics where illegal and that they where being distributed for purposes of sale. Prosecutors will use a conspiracy or aider and abettor theory to attempt to capture all persons involved in the movement of the subject drugs.
It is extremely important to hire an attorney that is familiar with conspiracy cases and has handled them before.
My firm has handled countless conspiracy cases and we are well versed in what needs to be done to successfully represent someone charged in a federal conspiracy case.
The general federal conspiracy statute makes it a crime for “two or more persons [to] conspire . . . to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.”(1) It is distinct from the substantive crime contemplated and is charged as a separate offense.(2) Acquittal on a conspiracy charge does not bar prosecution of the substantive offense.(3) Likewise, acquittal of the substantive offense does not bar conviction on the conspiracy count.(4) Conspiracy is one of the most commonly charged federal crimes.(5)
There are four elements necessary for proving a criminal conspiracy, each of which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
A conspiracy exists where there is:
(1) an agreement between at least two parties;
(2) to achieve an illegal goal;
(3) with knowledge of the conspiracy and with actual participation in the
(4) at least one conspirator committed an overt act in furtherance of