In the United States, it is illegal to work with a group of people to conspire against the federal government. It’s called federal conspiracy and it is outlined in the statute 18 USC 371. Federal conspiracy is one of the most frequently criminal federal charges. Unfortunately, federal conspiracy is also one of the most misunderstood federal charges.
If you are facing federal conspiracy charges or your loved one is, contact a federal defense lawyer immediately. For now, the following information focuses on federal conspiracy charges and how the charges work.
Federal Conspiracy is the Plan to Commit another Federal Crime
The reason why federal conspiracy is the one of the most frequently charged crimes is that it allows them to include a broader set of evidence at trial. Many charges are restrictive because they require show specific evidence. Federal conspiracy doesn’t. It has a lot of general elements.
A federal conspiracy charge is also considered a weapon to get more information or a more people involved in a crime. For example, federal prosecutors may charge you with federal conspiracy if they believe you have vital information that you’re withholding on an alleged co-conspirator. They may also file the charge against you if they believe you are part of a larger group of people who committed a federal crime.
How Prosecutors Prove Federal Conspiracy Charges
Now that you know why a prosecutor may have charged you or a loved one with federal conspiracy, this is how they’ll try to prove it. The prosecutor has the specific federal crime. For example, you could be charged with any federal crime, defrauding the government or:
• Seditious conspiracy
• Restrain trade
• Federal health care offense
• Drug trafficking
• Deprive an individual of their civil rights
• Submit fraudulent claims to a federal agency
The next step in a conspiracy charge is to charge you with federal conspiracy. According to statute 18 USC 371, it is illegal for more than two to plan to commit a federal crime or defraud the government. The statute also makes it against the law for anyone in that group to make an overt step to commit the crime. Thus, you or any of the alleged co-conspirators aren’t required to complete the federal crime, just act on it.
To prove federal conspiracy, a federal prosecutor must show:
• You entered into an agreement with two or more people. A prosecutor isn’t required to prove that you met or interacted with any of the alleged co-conspirators. All the prosecutor has to do is prove that you entered into an agreement with alleged co-conspirators.
• The agreement you entered into was to either defraud the government or commit a federal crime. The federal crime is drug trafficking, racketeering, etc.
• You or your alleged co-conspirator took an overt step to commit a federal crime.
An Example of How a Federal Conspiracy Charge Work
This is how a federal conspiracy charge works. For example, Andrew and Cain decide traffic heroin at a party. You were at the party too and learned about the plan. Andrew took a step to obtain heroin. Andrew is arrested for the crime. You and Cain are arrested too. You are charged with conspiracy to commit drug trafficking.
A federal prosecutor may charge you with conspiracy because they want you to provide information on your alleged co-conspirators or because they believe you helped plan the crime. The federal prosecutor must only prove that you, Cain and Andrew entered into an agreement. The next step is to convince a jury that the agreement was to conspire to commit drug trafficking.
The last step is to show that Andrew did an overt act to complete the drug trafficking crime.
Contact Us About Your Federal Conspiracy Charge
You may be scared about your future because you’re facing a federal conspiracy charge. It’s time to think about your defense. Contact our law office for a free consultant. We will discuss your conspiracy charge and the specific defense to use. Contact us immediately about your case.
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