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New Jersey – How Do Federal Conspiracy Charges Work?

How Do Federal Conspiracy Charges Work?
When facing a criminal prosecution, you may be charged with federal conspiracy crimes. Federal criminal charges are pursued in federal court rather than state or local courts. They are prosecuted by district attorneys, and the law enforcement agencies include federal agencies like the DEA and FBI. Conspiracy charges are often just one of many criminal charges used in a criminal proceeding.

Conspiracy can be broadly defined. Many different circumstances can lead to conduct that allows for a conspiracy charge. It’s difficult to defend against a conspiracy charge. The defendant’s attorney must investigate all of the evidence and the role that the government believes every involved individual played.

People may be charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes if at least two people agree that they will commit a federal crime together. In addition to the agreement, at least one party involved in the conspiracy must act to push the conspiracy further.

Conspiracy charges do not need written evidence. The involved parties don’t need to have written a contract. As long as the prosecutor can provide proof that the parties did work together to commit a crime, they can achieve a conspiracy conviction.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

The federal statute that outlines conspiracy charges is 18 U.S.C. 371. In the statute, it is made criminal to conspire to defraud the US government and to conspire to violate any federal law. For an act to be a conspiracy, it needs to meet the following requirements:

  • At least two people plan together to commit a federal crime or to defraud the US government
  • At lest one of the involved parties works to commit the crime in question

This is the general definition of federal conspiracy. But there are also conspiracy provisions found within other federal statutes. Some of the specific details include:

  • You cannot conspire to distribute, manufacture, or intend to distribute a controlled substance
  • You cannot conspire to commit a robbery

There have been many different conspiracy charges argued and debunked. Significant precedent has been set for future cases. In the past, judges have ruled that people can conspire together even if they never interact or meet. All they need to know is that the other individual was furthering the conspiracy.

This type of situation occurs most often in conspiracies that involve tangled webs of many individuals. A central entity may coordinate other people without ever giving them information about who they’re working with. All of these people have legally conspired together despite not knowing each other.

Because of how broad the definition of “conspiracy” is, it is possible for the government to abuse the statute. People may be subject to absurd consequences for relatively minor actions. With how the law is written, a person could be prosecuted and convicted of conspiracy charges if they agreed to a bank robbery with another individual, and then bought a ski mask for the robbery. Even if the two individuals would never actually go through with the plan, doing those things is enough.

A huge consequence of conspiracy charges is that all the involved individuals are held equally responsible. In cases where one person masterminded the conspiracy and used others to do their bidding, the less-informed parties are subject to the same criminal charges.

This tends to happen commonly in cases involving drug conspiracies. If a person was involved in a drug-related conspiracy in some very minor way, they may be charged as though they were involved with all the drugs. Perhaps they only distributed some marijuana, but they’re being given minimum sentences for intending to distribute methamphetamines like the other people involved in the drug ring.

Defense Attorneys for Conspiracy Charges

If you’re facing a federal conspiracy charge, it’s vital that you have adequate legal counsel. An experienced federal defense attorney can examine the evidence and help you understand your path forward. They may be able to help you negotiate a plea deal or provide a solid defense should the case proceed to trial.

The laws about federal conspiracies are extremely complicated in part because they are so simple. Because of how open to interpretation the statutes are, prosecutors can bring conspiracy charges down on people in many different circumstances. People are most likely to face conspiracy charges when involved in white collar crime accusations or drug-related accusations.

Your defense attorney can take steps to defend you against the charges. They will analyze the evidence presented by the government. They may also need to dig deep to find the evidence and story that the prosecution is creating. The process takes a great deal of time, so it’s important to have an attorney who is dedicated to your case.

If you’re facing federal criminal charges, our law firm can help. Our New Jersey partners practice in federal criminal court.

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