Federal conspiracy is one of the most commonly charged federal crimes, and one of the most powerful tools the government has at its disposal. By charging a conspiracy, prosecutors can claim that one person is responsible for the actions of another, even if no crime was actually committed.
Defending someone accused of a conspiracy is challenging, and you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who is up to the task.
If you have been accused of a federal conspiracy in New York City, you need a fierce, experienced, and tenacious federal criminal defense lawyer on your side. Federal criminal defense attorney Hope Lefeber has more than 30 years of experience defending people who have been accused of federal crimes. She began her career as an attorney with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) where she learned first-hand how the government prosecutes cases. Today, she uses that experience to defend people facing conspiracy charges by the United States government.
The government can charge conspiracy whenever two or more people agree to commit a specific federal crime, even if only one of them made an overt act in furtherance of the crime.
Conspiracy charges are particularly common in cases involving white-collar crimes and drug charges. A person can be charged with federal conspiracy even if they had a relatively minor role in committing the alleged crime. For example, a person who simply agrees to make a deposit or to open an account for others may face mail, wire, bank fraud or money laundering charges. Similarly, a person who played a very small role in trafficking a small amount of drugs may be facing the mandatory minimum sentence for all of the drugs involved in the conspiracy.
Many federal conspiracy crimes are prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. §371, the general federal conspiracy statute. To be successful, the government does not need to prove that there was a formal agreement to commit a crime. Rather, the agreement can be inferred from the circumstances, such as communications between the defendants before the crime was committed.
Other crimes, such as Business and Corporate Fraud, Wire Fraud and Mail Fraud, Health Care Fraud, Securities Fraud, Tax Fraud, and Mortgage Fraud are prosecuted under specific anti-conspiracy laws. White-collar crimes like Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, Health Care Fraud, and Securities Fraud are prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. §1349. Drug crimes are prosecuted under 21 U.S.C. §846 which makes it illegal to commit a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, or possess controlled substances with the intent to distribute them. The Hobbs Act prohibits committing a robbery of any article of interstate commerce and contains its own conspiracy provision.
A person who is convicted of a federal conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. §371 is subject to a fine, up to five years in prison, or both. However, because federal prosecutors almost always include conspiracy charges as part of allegations that the defendant was involved in a larger criminal fraud, the penalties can be even more severe.
Because conspiracy charges are so powerful they are subject to abuse by federal prosecutors. In theory, a person could be facing federal conspiracy charges for talking about manufacturing and selling drugs and buying a small amount of over-the-counter medications that contain chemicals that could be used to make drugs.
As with any criminal charge, prosecutors must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest standard of proof in the American legal system and means that, after evaluating all of the evidence the judge or jury can come to a single conclusion, and that is that the defendant is guilty.
To convict a defendant, the government must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. To avoid a conviction, the defendant does not need to prove anything. However, in federal criminal cases, this is easier said than done. An experienced criminal defense attorney will protect your rights by challenging the evidence the government intends to present and vigorously upholding your constitutional rights.
If you have been charged with a federal criminal conspiracy, New York City criminal defense attorney Hope Lefeber should be your first call. She is a fierce, tenacious advocate who will do everything possible to protect her client’s constitutional rights and seek justice on their behalf.
Hope Lefeber has earned a reputation among her colleagues in the federal bar, federal court judges, and with her clients as an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who is committed to justice. She meticulously prepares every case by carefully analyzing every piece of evidence the government intends to introduce in its efforts to secure a conviction and working with forensic consultants, investigators, and other experts to identify inconsistencies in the government’s case.
If you have been charged with a federal conspiracy in New York City, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact Hope Lefeber today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call 610-668-7927 or complete the online form.