How Do Federal Conspiracy Charges Work?
Federal Conspiracy is a Popular Charge
Over the past few decades, prosecutors have been using federal conspiracy charges with increasing frequency. Prosecutors tend to like this kind of charge because it enables them to bring in a large body of evidence that might normally be inadmissible under other circumstances. For example, if someone is engaged in a relatively minor drug crime, federal officers can make the case that the person involved was actually involved in a much larger attempt to carry out and commit crimes. Rather than having done a minor offense such as carrying drugs once in their suitcase when traveling across state lines, the prosecutor can argue that the person was involved in part of an effort to deliberately and conscious evade American drug laws as part of a greater organization.
Conspiracy can also be a very vague term that is hard to define. Essentially, conspiracy is a crime of planning to do something as well as doing it. Conspiracy involves two or more people who are engaged in a plan to start or continue an attempt to engage in a form of illegal activity. The parties typically make an agreement with each other to agree to break the law together. One person may then take deliberate steps to violate American laws. The parties do not have need to have a written agreement for there to be any form of conspiracy. They don’t even have to meet in person. A person may simply have a shadowy contact. They may follow that contact’s orders from in the United States or from abroad. For example, a drug kingpin in South America may issue orders and then have the person carry out those orders in the United States.
From The Bottom Up
Unlike some other types of crimes, a charge of conspiracy can include many different actions. One person may have made a few phone calls while the other actually carried the drugs into the airport on their physical person. Both the person who made the phone calls and the person who put the drugs on their bodies can be charged with being part of a federal conspiracy. Officials also like this charge because it may not require them to bring out a lot of evidence in order to prove this charge in a court of law. Government officials don’t even need to prove that a person knew all the details of the conspiracy. For example, you might be a personal assistant to someone higher up. At some point, you might learn that there’s some form of fraud going on in your place of business. If you don’t quit your job once you learn about the fraud, you can be charged under federal conspiracy laws.
Officials may even be more inclined to go after low level employees rather than those higher up. Many low level employees, especially those who have never been in trouble with the law before, are terrified at the thought of being investigated. Someone higher up the ladder may have dealt with law enforcement officials on routine basis as part of their job. Going after the low level employees can also make it appear that the official is doing something to combat crime. People who are accused of such charges may be lead to believe that little will happen to them. The officials may even imply there will no criminal charges once they have given their testimony.
This is why it is hugely important to work with legal counsel from the very first. While the feds may promise the person will be immune from conspiracy charges if they speak out, such is not always the case. Keep in mind that you can be charged for the criminal actions of others. Evidence such as hearsay that is not normally allowed in court can also be used against you as part of this kind of charge. This is one of many important reasons why you need to hire someone to be at your side as soon as you find out about such charges. Excellent lawyers will help make sure justice is done.