Proving that someone has broken federal drug trafficking laws can be challenging. The standard of proof is high and the evidence connecting an individual to each of the elements is often too flimsy to convince a jury. At the same time, however, you can serve serious time for a federal drug crime, even if the “crime” never actually took place.
Conspiracy is one very common example of an inchoate crime that prosecutors charge St. Louis residents with. Though conspiring to commit a crime is not the same as committing the crime itself, you can be sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence if convicted on a conspiracy charge.
What is a criminal conspiracy?
There are two elements to a criminal conspiracy:
- At least two people intentionally agree to commit a crime
- At least one of the people commits some act in furtherance of the agreement
The conspiracy does not have to end in the completion of the intended crime to expose you to charges. And it does not matter how minor your role in the conspiracy was. For instance, agreeing to lend your car to one of the co-conspirators so they can drive out of state for a drug sale can get you in as much trouble as the person accused of arranging and performing the transaction.
Knowing your options before you act
Dealing with a conspiracy charge can be frightening. But most criminal defendants have options. Working with your defense attorney can give you a clear picture of whether it would be better to proceed to trial or try to negotiate a plea bargain. Depending on the evidence, it may also be possible to get the charges dismissed or reduced.