WHAT IS A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY?
A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a criminal act. Conspiracy charges are very common in Federal Court because the United States Attorney’s Office does not need prove that an actual crime has been committed. A person can be alleged to be involved in a conspiracy in any Federal Crime. However, the most common examples of Federal conspiracy cases are drug conspiracies and conspiracies to commit bank fraud or wire fraud.
HOW DO CONSPIRACY CASES WORK IN FEDERAL COURT?
To convict a person for any conspiracy which is not a drug conspiracy, the Federal prosecutors must prove that there was an agreement to accomplish a criminal objective (bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, etc.), one or more over acts in furtherance of that goal and intent to commit the substantive offense (underlying criminal activity).
When an accused is charged with conspiracy, statements made during the course of the conspiracy and made in furtherance of the conspiracy are admissible evidence. That means statements by people who you don’t even know could be used you in trial and played for a jury. In addition, each member of the conspiracy will be held responsible for all of the acts of the conspiracy which were reasonably foreseeable and in furtherance of the conspiracy. Thus, a person who may have forged bank documents could be held responsible for millions of dollars of bank fraud which was perpetrated by co-conspirators.
WHAT ARE DEFENSES TO FEDERAL CONSPIRACY CASES?
There are many possible defenses to conspiracy cases and each case is fact specific. Some conspiracy defenses include that there was no agreement, the Government failed to prove the proper conspiracy or the accused was not involved in the underlying conspiracy charge.
Drug conspiracies are a bit different in that the Government does not need to prove that an overt act was completed. Thus, in a federal drug conspiracy case, the Government must prove that a conspiracy existed, the accused knew of the conspiracy and that the accused intended to enter into the conspiracy. It is not a pre-requisite that the accused sold, trafficked or possessed drugs. More than that, the Government does not need to show that anyone sold drugs, trafficked drugs, or possessed drugs.
The most common drug conspiracy cases in Springfield, Peoria, and Urbana, Illinois involve cocaine distribution and methamphetamine production. The Federal Central District of Illinois will occasionally prosecute marijuana or cannabis conspiracies but, in general, their main focus has historically been on controlled substances such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
If you are currently being investigated for a federal drug conspiracy or are currently charged with a federal conspiracy case, you need experienced and established Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers. The defense attorneys at the Noll Law Office concentrate in all areas of Federal Criminal Defense and have handled numerous conspiracy cases including white collar conspiracies such as bank fraud, mail fraud,and wire fraud, and drug conspiracies including cocaine conspiracies, crack conspiracies, and methamphetamine conspiracies. Our lawyers offer a free and initial consultation to explain your rights to you and discuss your situation at (217) 414-8889.
NOLL LAW OFFICE CONSPIRACY RESULTS
U.S.A. v. R.O. (2012)
R.O. was charged with federal wire fraud and mail fraud. He was facing 7 years incarceration in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Extensive pre-trial preparation revealed that our client had not knowingly participated with the conspirators. After presenting this evidence to the United States Attorney’s Office, this case was dismissed.
U.S.A. v. P.F. (2003)
P.F. was charged by federal authorities with a multimillion dollar drug ring involving automobiles with concealed compartments and massive quantities of cocaine. Our office represented P.F. in trial and all the way to the United States Supreme Court where a companion case was decided regarding the same issues as P.F. That companion, U.S. v. Booker, overturned the sentencing guidelines resulting in our client being resentenced to a fraction of his original sentence.