Conspiracy is an agreement between a minimum of two people to break the law at some point in the future. It was outlawed by Title 18 of the United States Code. An individual can be charged with committing the crime and conspiring to commit the crime. Conspiracy is rarely a charge in state courts.
To convict of a conspiracy, the jury does not have to conclude that an explicit agreement was entered. They just have to conclude that an understanding was reached among various people to commit the crime. In Federal court, if one person is accused of committing a crime and another person is accused of committing the same crime then conspiracy charges are likely to be given to both people.
Federal prosecutors generally like conspiracy charges because it allows them some liberties from evidentiary restrictions. Federal prosecutors also appreciate when one accused enters into a plea bargain admitting that the conspiracy existed and then agrees to testify against his or her co-defendant.
When a conspiracy exists, the charge for the conspiracy and the underlying offense are usually given the same penalty. This means that if you conspire to kill a person, even if you don’t go through with it, the penalty is likely to be the same as if the person had actually been killed.
Different conspiracies include intent to defraud the United States, intent to kill a police officer, intent to manufacture or possess drugs, and activities associated with organized crime such as money laundering. The federal agency that prosecutes a conspiracy charge depends on the nature of the crime. For example, if there is a conspiracy to manufacture or possess drugs, the DEA is likely to get involved in the prosecution.
Because of the nature of conspiracy charges, it is imperative to retain an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer that understands the court system and the charges being brought against an individual.
The Clearwater federal conspiracy lawyers of the Law Offices of Tragos, Sartes & Tragos, PLLC understand the court system and have extensive experience in federal courts. Tragos, Sartes & Tragos, PLLC are conveniently located in the Clearwater area.