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Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 02:06 pm
Being charged with a federal drug conspiracy is scary. These charges can lead to long prison sentences and huge fines if convicted. But there are ways to fight the charges and protect your rights. This article will explain what federal drug conspiracies are, what the penalties are, and most importantly—your legal defense options.
A federal drug conspiracy charge means prosecutors think you agreed with someone else to break federal drug laws. This agreement can be spoken or unspoken. You can be charged even if you didn’t actually commit the drug crime yourself. Just planning or talking about it is enough.
Common federal drug conspiracies include:
Prosecutors don’t need much evidence to charge you with conspiracy. Just a few texts, phone calls or meetings where drugs were discussed could lead to charges. This makes conspiracy a broad crime that ensnares many people.
A federal drug conspiracy conviction can lead to the following penalties:
These penalties are harsh, especially compared to state drug charges. That’s why building an aggressive legal defense is so important.
While federal drug conspiracy laws are broad, there are ways to challenge the charges and avoid conviction. Here are some legal defenses to raise:
Remember, conspiracy requires an agreement. If you didn’t agree to commit the drug crime, you shouldn’t be convicted. Your lawyer can argue there’s no evidence you agreed or intended to join the conspiracy. Maybe you were just present when it was discussed but didn’t participate. Or you took no action to further the conspiracy. Without evidence of real agreement, the charges should be dismissed.
Another defense is that you withdrew from the conspiracy before the drug crime happened. Federal conspiracy laws allow this defense if you take affirmative steps to withdraw. Things like cutting off communication with co-conspirators, warning police about the scheme, or actively preventing the crime can show withdrawal.
Prosecutors often charge “minor players” in a conspiracy who had little involvement. You may have been present but took no real action. If your role was extremely limited, it’s often possible to get the charges dismissed or win a jury acquittal.
If government agents pushed you into committing a crime you otherwise wouldn’t, you may have been entrapped. This occurs when police improperly convince you to join a conspiracy you weren’t predisposed to join. Entrapment is a complete defense to conspiracy under federal law.
Most federal conspiracies require an “overt act” in furtherance of the crime. If prosecutors can’t prove any conspirator took a concrete step to advance the scheme, there may not be a viable charge.
The type and quantity of drugs involved impacts your sentence. You can fight the charges by contesting the government’s drug calculations. For example, argue that text messages referring to “10 keys” actually discussed kilos of a harmless substance, not keys of cocaine. Winning these factual arguments can lower your sentence.
If police violated your rights while investigating the conspiracy, any evidence they obtained illegally may be suppressed. Common constitutional issues in conspiracy cases include warrantless searches, improper surveillance, and coerced confessions.
Fighting federal drug conspiracy charges takes experience. These cases involve complex legal rules and sentencing guidelines. That’s why retaining a knowledgeable federal criminal defense attorney is so important.
Look for a lawyer who regularly handles federal drug cases and knows how to exploit weaknesses in the government’s case. Only an aggressive attorney can get charges dismissed pre-trial, win at trial, or negotiate a favorable plea bargain.
With skilled legal help, you may be able to defeat federal drug conspiracy allegations or at least mitigate the consequences. Don’t wait to get advice about building your defense.
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