Federal Drug Conspiracy Attorneys
Federal Drug Conspiracy Charges are among the most charged crimes because of the nature of drug conspiracies and the evidence that can be brought against an accused person. Whether you are being charged with both conspiracy and another offense or if you are only being accused of conspiracy, it is critically important that you hire an experienced Federal Defense Attorney. Here at the Law Office of Jeremy Gordon, we know how to defend against federal conspiracy charges. You need someone on your side to help you understand the strength of the Government’s case the legal complexities involved. Contact us today to discuss your case and let us see if we can help you.
Federal Drug Conspiracies
Conspiracy is often charged in federal cases because it covers a broad range of conduct. These charges are challenging to defend and require a great amount of diligence and investigation on the part of a skilled defense attorney.
A criminal conspiracy is an illegal agreement between two or more people to violate the law. However, an agreement alone is not enough to be guilty under federal conspiracy law. The prosecution must also prove that the defendant had a specific intent to enter into the conspiracy and, under most statues, must prove an overt act to further the conspiracy.
Federal conspiracy charges are most commonly brought as violations of 21 U.S.C. § 846. The drug conspiracy statute makes it a federal crime to conspire to commit federal drug offenses.
Why Choose the Law Office of Jeremy Gordon as your Federal Drug Conspiracy Defense Attorneys?
Federal Drug cases are serious. From the moment a person is entangled with law enforcement it can seem like all the cards are against them. Federal cases are not like cases in state court. An attorney that is unaware of the differences between state court and federal court can leave an accused person at a significant disadvantage. At the law office of Jeremy Gordon, we only handle Federal Cases. This gives us significant exposure to the types of evidence that federal authorities bring forth in these cases and we know how to make challenges, especially in the areas of search and seizure. In addition, our experience in postconviction matters puts us at an edge in representation: we have seen the challenges that have come up on direct appeal and on 2255 Motions to Vacate so we know how to structure our arguments.
We also know how important communication is with our clients: a federal drug attorney can only represent a client if they know their client. That is why we believe in Clients Plus and take calls from our clients whether they are on bond or in jail. We also use the TRULINCS/Corrlinks Email system to keep in contact with our incarcerated clients.
What is A Controlled Substance?
Most drugs are listed and categorized into several schedules under the Federal Controlled Substances Act based on their abuse potential, accepted medical applications in the United States and the safety and potential for addiction.
Schedule I Drugs:
Drugs that are in Schedule I have a high potential for abuse, no current medical use in treatment in the United States and the a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug, substance or chemical under medical supervision. Drugs like LSD, Marijuana and Heroin are in Schedule I.
Schedule II/IIN Drugs:
Drugs that are in Schedule II have a high potential for abuse, currently have an accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S. or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and Abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Oxycodone, fentanyl, methadone, cocaine, codeine , hydrocodone and methamphetamine are all in Schedule II/IIN.
Schedule III/IIIN Drugs:
Drugs listed in schedule III/IIIN have a potential for abuse less than the drugs in schedules I and II, but more than Schedule IV drugs, a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S., and abuse of the drug, substance, or chemical may lead to a moderate to low potential for physical dependence but high psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule III/IIIN drugs are Tylenol with Codeine and Suboxone.
Schedule IV Drugs:
Drugs in Schedule IV have “a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence compared to Schedule III and the drug has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.” Examples of Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, Soma, Klonopin, Valium and Ambien.
Schedule V Drugs:
Schedule V Drugs ave a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs in schedule IV,” as well as “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.” Schedule V drugs “primarily consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.”
Evidence and Defenses in Federal Drug Conspiracy Cases
In order to convict a defendant of federal conspiracy, the prosecution in the case must prove all of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt; however, it is important to know that the law of conspiracy allows prosecutors to bring in more evidence than they would otherwise be able to in cases where conspiracy charges are not involved. For example, they might use statements of alleged co-conspirators without the usual safeguards that make it more difficult to admit co-defendant statements into evidence.
In general, to be convicted of federal conspiracy charges the Government must prove:
(1) that there was an agreement between at least two parties;
(2) the agreement was made to achieve an illegal goal;
(3) the parties had knowledge of the conspiracy and actually participated in the conspiracy.
When a large number of people are involved in a conspiracy, it is possible that many of the alleged participants have neither met nor spoken to one another. In these cases, it is common for a person who was involved in a comparatively minor way to be accused of the larger conspiracy with others who allegedly had a larger role.
Defenses to Federal Drug Conspiracy Cases:
There are several defenses that a defendant may use if facing federal conspiracy charges.
- Statute of Limitations – Under 18 U.S.C. § 3282, a five-year statute of limitations applies to federal conspiracy charges. A conspiracy is generally held to run from the date of the last overt act committed in furtherance of the conspiracy. Under 18 U.S.C. § 286, the statute of limitations begins when a conspirator abandons the conspiracy or abandons accomplishing its objectives.
- Variance – The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that a criminal defendant be given adequate notice of the charges against them. A defendant charged with federal conspiracy charges can raise this defense if there is a variance between the number of conspiracies charged in the indictment and the number of conspiracies proved at trial.
- Mere Presence – A defendant in a federal conspiracy case cannot be convicted if they were merely present with the co-conspirators but did not act in a way that would suggest any connection to the conspiracy.
- Isolated Buyer/Seller – If a defendant in a federal conspiracy case commits a single, ordinary act, this is not enough to convict them of conspiracy since the crime of conspiracy requires two or more participants. If a mere buyer/seller relationship existed, this is generally not enough to convict a defendant of being a co-conspirator in a case involving drug conspiracy charges.
- Coercion – The defense of coercion may be used if the person with conspiracy charges agreed to participate in the conspiracy because of threatened force. The defendant must prove that there was an imminent threat, fear that the threat would be carried out, and no opportunity to escape.
- Withdrawal – If a defendant enters into a conspiracy but then withdraws before committing an overt act to further the conspiracy the crime of conspiracy may not have been completed.
Penalties for Drug Conspiracy Offenses:
The United States Code indicates that the penalties for drug conspiracy charges are the same as those of the actual crimes that were the object of the conspiracy. This means that if you were charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs then you could be charged with the same penalties as drug distribution.
The various federal conspiracy laws and defenses have subtle but important differences, and it’s critical to have the assistance of a skilled an experienced Federal Defense Attorney to protect your name, your freedom and your life. Don’t let conspiracy charges ruin your life. Your freedom and good name are invaluable. We know the law. We have the experience. And we will fight for you. Contact us today to schedule a free phone consultation.