Obviously, defendants are charged with a crime they have allegedly committed. However, federal law punishes individuals for simply planning an alleged criminal scheme with others.
Creating a plan to commit a federal crime or defraud the United States with multiple parties is commonly known as “conspiracy.” Common crimes associated with conspiracy include violent crimes, drug distribution or trafficking, fraud offenses, racketeering, gang cases, and many white collar crimes such as money laundering and insider trading.
The following are the elements that federal prosecutors must prove to convict a defendant of conspiracy:
There was an agreement – First, an agreement with at least one other individual to violate a federal law must have been made. The agreement does not need to be in writing. Additionally, personally knowing the identity or roles of each-conspirator is not required to convict someone of federal conspiracy.
One party agreed to commit an overt act to further advance the agreement – An overt act is defined as any action committed to advance the agreed-upon offense. Common examples of further advancing a crime include buying a weapon, making a phone call, locating all of the exits in a building, or even renting a car or room.
The overt act was committed – Lastly, at least one of the overt acts mentioned above was committed.
Conspiracy generally punishable by a maximum federal prison term of five years and fines of up to $250,000 for individuals or $500,000 for organizations. However, a conspiracy involving drug trafficking, racketeering, and terrorism all carry the same penalties as the underlying crime.
If you are being invested by federal authorities, let our Miami federal criminal defense lawyer at Hubbs Law Firm protect your rights, freedom, and future. Contact us today at (305) 570-4802 to let us help you immediately.