U.S. law defines conspiracy as the agreement between two or more individuals to commit a crime recognized by the U.S. Code and take at least one action to make this plan a reality. At the federal level, a conspiracy conviction can carry especially severe penalties depending on the time of crime you and your partner(s) planned to accomplish. 18 U.S. Code § 371 is the primary statute that governs federal conspiracy.
Conspiracy can apply to many criminal offenses such as:
- Against a government official
- Obstruction of justice
- Fraud or money laundering
- Human trafficking
- Committing murder or another violent crime
- Drug possession or trafficking
One of the risks with this type of allegation is that the judge may convince your co-conspirators to testify against you with a plea bargain. Working with a trusted criminal defense attorney is vital to protect your rights and future, especially when dealing with charges at the federal level. Federal prosecutors have more resources than their counterparts at the state level, which can help them obtain substantial evidence more easily.
Potential Penalties for Conspiracy at the Federal Level
Criminal conspiracy charges can happen at the state and/or federal level. Although the sentence for conspiracy is generally lesser than what it would be for the actual crime you and your co-conspirators intended to commit, it can nevertheless involve severe consequences.
At the federal level, a judge can classify conspiracy as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the type of crime you conspired to commit. It also depends on your role in the conspiracy.
You could face penalties such as:
- Prison time
- Registration as a sex offender
A federal conspiracy conviction may also negatively impact your professional life, educational opportunities, financial and housing options, and even your family life. A criminal record can affect your parental rights in certain circumstances.
What Does the Prosecution Need to Prove to Convict Someone of Conspiracy?
- Two or more people agreed to commit a crime and/or defraud the United States
- They intended to commit the crime
- At least one person took one or more actions towards completing their plan
Defense Strategies Against Conspiracy Charges
As soon as you face conspiracy charges, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you throughout the legal process. They can assess your case in great detail and recommend a defense strategy for your specific situation.
Your attorney can recommend one or more of the following defense strategies:
- You did not agree to commit a crime
- You did not intend to commit a crime
- You did not know the plan you agreed to participate in involved any criminal activity
- The other conspirators forced you to participate in the conspiracy
- You changed your mind and withdrew your support from the conspiracy
Build a Strong Defense with Brad Bailey Law
At Brad Bailey Law, we bring over 30 years of professional experience and a nationally renowned track record of helping clients no matter how complex or severe the allegations against them are. We have extensive experience conducting our own investigations and negotiating with law enforcement and both state and federal judges. When you choose us to defend you against conspiracy accusations, our team can determine whether a judge should suppress some evidence against you if they do not meet all the necessary legal requirements.
Attorney Brad Bailey and the rest of our staff strive to obtain a dismissal of the charges against you and when not possible, we aim for a reduction in penalties. In certain cases, we may recommend a plea bargain, but we always begin with a careful assessment of your situation to tailor our defense strategy to your specific situation.
Contact Brad Bailey Law today at (617) 500-0252 to get started with your defense against federal conspiracy charges in Boston or the greater New England area.