White Plains Conspiracy Lawyer
Conspiracy charges probably constitute the most common criminal offense brought against individuals in Federal Court because it allows the government to sweep up a broad number of defendants and facilitates introduction of evidence that might otherwise not be admissible. Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and DEA often use conspiracy law to target a broad range of criminal scenarios that include executives at a company engaged in fraud, drug cartels, and organized crime. Generally, conspiracy is an extremely broad criminal offense that can be used to target many types of criminal conduct.
If you are under investigation for an offense related to a conspiracy under federal law, you cannot afford to wait until a law enforcement agency makes contact with you to obtain legal advice. Federal criminal defense in New York’s Southern District Federal Courthouse and Eastern District Federal Courthouse differs substantially from state criminal cases. Sentencing in Federal Court is less flexible and far harsher than State Court, which makes it important to be represented by attorneys with extensive knowledge and familiarity with Federal Courts.
At Greco Neyland, PC, our founding partners Jeffrey Greco and Dustan Neyland regularly represent individuals charged with federal offenses, including conspiracy in Federal Court. Because we cut our teeth as prosecutors, we know how to uncover illegal law enforcement tactics and how to anticipate the litigation strategy that the federal prosecutor will use to build a case against you. When defending against a federal conspiracy charge, a federal criminal defense lawyer must be diligent in investigating the evidence obtained by the federal agents and determining the role that the government believes each party played in the conspiracy. We are prepared to carefully review physical evidence, interview witnesses, and analyze federal law enforcement reports/procedure in order to identify the most compelling defense strategies.
What Is a Conspiracy under Federal Law?
The crime of conspiracy essentially involves an agreement between at least two people to commit some prohibited form of misconduct. There actually are dozens of federal statutes covering various types of conspiracies. One of the most common conspiracies, which is charged pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 371, makes it a crime to enter into an agreement to commit a federal offense or to defraud the federal government. There are other federal statutes covering specific types of conspiracies that typically carry harsher penalties.
There are two basic elements to a conspiracy under the 18 U.S.C. § 371:
Two or more individuals enter into an agreement to commit a federal crime or defraud the government; and
At least one of the individuals commits an act in furtherance of the conspiracy.
This general statute defining conspiracy requires an overt act (i.e. an act in furtherance of the conspiracy). However, some federal conspiracies are complete once an agreement is reached, even if none of the alleged conspirators engaged in any conduct to further the objectives of the conspiracy. Federal Statute definition of drug conspiracies (21 U.S.C. § 846), which often are used to target drug trafficking operations, provide an example of a conspiracy that does not require an overt act.
Conspiracy charges frequently are improperly utilized by federal agents and federal prosecutors so that individuals who have minor roles in a conspiracy face harsh terms of imprisonment. For example, four people might agree to rob a bank. One of the parties, who never actually meets the co-conspirators face to face, has no other role than to supply masks. While the federal prosecutor might not charge a conspiracy in such a situation, the facts meet the statutory requirements, and thus the mask provider could be ensnared in this conspiracy as a co-conspirator to the bank robbery. It is that simple to get entangled in such a conspiracy.
Penalties for Federal Conspiracies
The penalty for violation of the general conspiracy statute is up to five years in the federal penitentiary. Conspiracies under statutes specifically addressing drug trafficking, terrorism, and racketeering carry the same penalty as the substantive offense. In other words, these conspiracies are punished much more severely than a conspiracy charged under 18 U.S.C. § 371. If you are convicted of a conspiracy, you also can be subject to a fine up to $250,000.
Retain a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Today!
When you are the subject of an investigation or charged with a conspiracy, any delay in retaining an experienced federal criminal defense attorney gives federal agencies more time to conduct their investigation and pressure you for information. Our federal conspiracy defense lawyers challenge wiretaps, searches, interrogations, and witnesses in order to build a strong defense. For your convenience, our offices are located close to the Southern District Federal Courthouse and the Eastern District Federal Courthouse.
Please call us today at (914) 358-9146, or click here, to schedule your free consultation, so we can start fighting for you.
75 S. Broadway Suite 477
White Plains, NY 10601
Get Your Free Consultation
Call us anytime at (914) 358-9146