Have You Been Charged with Federal Conspiracy? You Have Legal Options
Did you know that you don’t have to commit a crime to be prosecuted by the federal government? You may believe that discussing the prospect of committing a crime, or even formulating preparations to do one, is harmless as long as you never carry it out. Many others, on the other hand, find themselves unexpectedly facing federal conspiracy accusations when they had no idea they were involved in any criminal activity.
Read on to get the facts about federal conspiracy charges and then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 to see how we can help.
Federal Conspiracy Charges
Conspiracy charges can be filed in connection with any federal violation if two or more persons decided to perform a criminal act together. A prosecutor must show the following things in order to obtain a conviction:
- Two or more people agree to act
- The defendant comprehended the conspiracy’s purpose (the criminal crime) and agreed to participate
- At least one member of the conspiracy took an affirmative measure in furtherance of the criminal act
The completion of the underlying criminal conduct is not required for a conspiracy conviction. Two people, for example, may create a strategy to rob a bank. On their approach to the bank officials capture and arrest the two people. Despite the fact that the bank was not robbed, the individuals involved may face conspiracy charges. If the planned heist was carried out, you may face charges for both the conspiracy and the accomplished crime.
You Can Be Charged with Conspiracy Even if You Were Not Aware of the Entirety of the Plan
You should also be aware that being a member in a conspiracy does not require you to be aware of all illegal behavior or even the names of all other conspirators. You can engage on a “need to know” basis and yet be considered a full participant of the conspiracy under the law. Even if you played just a minor role, you can be held accountable for the actions of your co-conspirators, even if you did not commit the crimes yourself.
Assume that you helped design a strategy to switch off the surveillance cameras at the bank from a position down the street, like in the bank robbery scenario. You may face the same accusations as your co-conspirators who actually robbed the bank, even if you never entered the bank or stole any money.
Federal Conspiracy Convictions: What Are the Consequences?
In federal court, a variety of typical criminal conspiracies are prosecuted. Drug trafficking conspiracies, RICO offenses (racketeering offenses), obstruction of justice, white collar crimes including embezzlement schemes, and other crimes are all possible. The penalties you face in federal court will differ based on the sort of illegal activities you planned and whether or not you or any of your co-conspirators actually carried them out.
If the underlying crime was a misdemeanor, mail fraud, or wire fraud, you might face the same penalties as if it was a felony. If you are merely charged with conspiracy rather than the actual offense, you may face up to five years in federal prison, penalties, or both. If at least one participant of the conspiracy committed a crime, you may be subject to the penalties imposed by federal law.
Defending Against Allegations of Conspiracy in Federal Court
Criminal cases at the federal level differ significantly from those at the state level. For starters, federal agencies and authorities have a large pool of resources to draw on when conducting complicated investigations. Authorities may investigate you for a long period before placing you under arrest or charging you with a crime. As a result, prosecutors frequently have a substantial quantity of evidence against you from the beginning of your case.
If you suspect you are being investigated for conspiracy or any federal offense, call our a criminal defense attorney right now. During your investigation and before you face charges, we can start assisting you and defending your rights. Reach out to Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088.