Federal conspiracy charges can be confusing for all parties involved. In many cases, a federal conspiracy conviction is the byproduct of two defendants who didn’t realize they were committing a crime and a federal prosecutor pointing fingers with less evidence to support their claims than a typical court case. Still, conspiracy on the federal level is a no laughing matter and can carry misdemeanor or felony consequences. In this article, a federal criminal conspiracy defense attorney in Tampa will provide a brief overview and clarify some common misconceptions about the crime of federal conspiracy.
Defining a Federal Conspiracy
According to 18 U.S.C. § 371, when two or more people conspire (or plan) to perpetuate “any offense against the United States” or to “defraud the United States,” they are embroiled in a federal conspiracy. This includes an act of conspiracy against any government agency. Typically, a verbal or written agreement to commit such an act must have occurred willfully. Additionally, one or more conspirators will have taken some action with the intent to progress the plan to commit some form of a criminal act against the United States.
Federal Conspiracy Penalties
Any person convicted of federal conspiracy will be responsible for fines up to $250,000 and spend up to five years in federal prison. For conspiracies by organizations, the maximum financial penalty increases to $500,000. However, if two or more individuals conspired to commit a crime that only qualifies as a misdemeanor, their punishment will at most correlate with the maximum penalties the misdemeanor would normally carry. If you believe the federal government has a case against you or one of your close colleagues, it’s always sensible to seek legal representation from a federal criminal conspiracy defense lawyer in Tampa.
What Can a Federal Criminal Conspiracy Defense Lawyer Do For You?
A seasoned federal criminal defense lawyer in Tampa can raise various defenses to help you get past your charges including:
- No Agreement: proving the existence of a verbal agreement can be tricky, and the law doesn’t require an agreement to be made in writing. Therefore, an attorney can argue that there was no agreement to commit a conspiracy at all.
- No Proof of Willingness to Conspire: an attorney can help you prove that you were forced into an agreement and did not agree to conspire willingly. If threats of violence or blackmail were used to coerce you, an attorney can help establish your innocence.
- No Action: the law requires one or more conspirators to commit an action that helps progress the conspiracy. If no such act occurred, an attorney can help you prove that no action was taken thereby invalidating the charges.
For a free consultation with a federal criminal conspiracy defense attorney Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.