Building a Defense For Federal Conspiracy Charges

Conspiracy cases are different from other cases because they do not rely to commission of an underlying offense, but merely agreements, planning, and acts in furtherance of an offense. For this reason, it is not always clear what may constitute a defense in conspiracy cases and therefore a federal conspiracy lawyer can be a great asset. Call today if you or someone you know if facing federal conspiracy charges, as they are likely facing severe penalties if convicted. Schedule a free consultation today.

Withdrawing from the Conspiracy

That can be tricky. An individual can try to withdraw from a conspiracy. It can be very important as to whether or not the conspiracy has moved forward with actual steps taken. What did the individual actually do to remove him or herself from the conspiracy because if there’s an actual conspiracy going on, the individual who was initially involved now needs to take very clear and very substantial steps to remove himself. If the conspiracy had already moved forward and anything has been accomplished, then that can be very difficult.

In other words, once the conspiracy has obtained results, withdrawing yourself from it is very unlikely. So, if an individual, at an early stage of the conspiracy, changes their mind, then they need to be very strong about removing themselves from the conspiracy. Often, if they don’t assist law enforcement to try to stop the remaining conspirators, then they are going to have a hard time proving that they actually were not involved.

Lack of Knowledge of the Whole Plan

Usually, that will not be a sufficient enough defense to escape criminal liability. The most common conspiracy cases we see in the federal system are drug distribution conspiracies. Multiple people are bringing in drugs from either out of the country or from one part of this country to another and set up a distribution network. In a situation like that, one of the middle or lower tiered individuals in this conspiracy will not know all of the details and may not know where the drugs are initially coming from or who actually is doing the shipping. They’ll just sort of be a cog in the process, but in this hypothetical, the individual would be involved in his role in the conspiracy. He is generally aware of what is taking place. In this conspiracy, drugs are being brought from somewhere and this person is  involved in distributing them.  Even though they’re not aware of every other conspirator’s identity, role, or even where they are or that they exist specifically, they will still be liable.

Now, if an individual has such a small role that it can be argued they didn’t even have an understanding that it was a conspiracy or that what was going on was illegal, then that could be certainly something that the defense would want to focus on. If you can show that an individual was caught up in something, but did not realize that it was an illegal activity or a conspiracy, then they truly didn’t have an understanding of what was going on. If this was the case, then that would be something you certainly want to press in your case.