One of the most common charges brought by the Department of Justice when federal charges are brought against an individual is a conspiracy. In the 1980s, the war on drugs was at its height and led to Congress changing the rules and regulations surrounding the laws that are used to bring more people to justice. Many activists have stated the introduction of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and strict punishments for drug offenses have led to a major increase in the federal prison population to become the largest in the U.S. Conspiracy to distribute drug charges are amongst the most difficult to defend but defense can be mounted by an experienced and qualified attorney.
When an individual is arrested for their part in a conspiracy to distribute drugs there can be a range of areas to be explored by the defendant and their legal team. One of the main issues being faced is the wide nature of the charge that deals with the planning and preparation through to the execution of distributing drugs. For the charge to make its way to a court and result in a prosecution is successful, the Federal Government must prove several things:
When a federal prosecutor brings a conspiracy with intent to distribute drug charges to court they tend to bring a large amount of information to any hearing. One of the main reasons this charge is so popular with prosecutors is that it allows a wide range of evidence to be introduced that is outside the limits of more focused drug charges.
The Prosecution’s Responsibility
One of the most important aspects of any conspiracy case is the need for the prosecution to show the defendant took significant steps to move the planned crime forward. In theory, simply looking online for the materials needed to complete the distribution of drugs after discussing the crime with another person would be enough to bring about a prosecution. However, in general, the Federal authorities are more intent on finding those who are actively taking part in developing a network to distribute drugs meaning the significant step term was introduced. This can mean goods must have been bought or drugs purchased with the knowledge of the defendants and their active involvement.
Possession Laws are a Major Part of a Conspiracy
There are a few different types of conspiracy charges that can be brought to court with the importing of controlled substances, distribution, and manufacturing of drugs all being fairly straightforward to prove. The final form of a conspiracy can be more difficult with the possession with intent to distribute drugs is a case that must be proven with a large amount of evidence often leading to the introduction of conspiracy charges. For this charge, a prosecutor will introduce lots of evidence from wiretaps and other areas that show the purchase of scales, baggies, and other items was completed to assist in the future distribution of illegal substances.
How a Defense Works?
The issue of defending a person who is charged with a Federal conspiracy with intent to distribute drugs is often based around the ability of the lawyer to find problems with the evidence placed before them. A defense against a conspiracy charge can be difficult with the Federal Government usually believing they have enough evidence to bring a conviction before the case reaches court with a conviction rate above 90 percent.
The first step for any defense attorney is to assess the reasons why an individual was arrested for conspiracy and examine the available evidence. In many cases, the arresting agency assume a person is involved in a crime without collecting the correct evidence to prove so. Even in a case where guilt has been proven, there could be a chance for an experienced defense attorney to lower the charges or to find procedural issues that lead to a case being dismissed.
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