When you are arrested for a crime in Philadelphia, there are two court appearances you will attend. The preliminary arraignment is held shortly after your arrest, and the formal arraignment is held after the preliminary hearing if you are charged with a felony offense and the preliminary hearing judge finds that the Commonwealth has made…
Philadelphia Federal Conspiracy to Distribute Defense Attorney
Helping those Facing Federal Conspiracy to Distribute Charges Assert a Good Legal Defense in Court
It is not necessary that you be found with illegal drugs in your possession to be charged with federal drug conspiracy in Philadelphia. If you took any role in the distribution or operation process – no matter how big or small – you can face conspiracy drug charges at the federal level.
Oftentimes, federal prosecutors will file federal drug conspiracy charges against as many individuals as possible. This is done, in part, so that the alleged offenders are more likely to testify against the leaders of drug rings (i.e., drug kingpins). In exchange for testifying against a drug kingpin, the federal prosecutor may offer a conspirator a plea deal, such as a reduced penalty or sentence, in exchange for his or her in-court testimony. Some prosecutors, however, may try and renege on a proposed deal if they are dissatisfied with an alleged conspirator’s testimony.
If you have been charged with federal drug conspiracy to distribute – or if you are currently under investigation – it is vital that you speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer at Wimmer Criminal Defense Law as soon as possible. Our legal team can review your case, ensure that your legal rights are being safeguarded, and work towards a favorable outcome in your criminal case.
What is a Federal Drug Conspiracy?
Federal drug conspiracy cases are oftentimes complex and can take a long time to resolve in the federal court system. Drug conspiracy cases end up in the federal system if there is a question of federal law involved. Such may be the case if the drug case involves distributing or selling illegal drugs across state lines.
You can be charged with drug conspiracy to distribute at the federal level if you intentionally or knowingly committed an act – or if you conspired to commit an illegal act – such as distributing controlled substances. In order for you to ultimately be found guilty or convicted of a federal drug conspiracy distribution charge, the federal prosecutor is required to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That there was an agreement between you and at least one other individual to commit the illegal act of drug distribution
- That you participated in the enterprise willingly, intentionally, and knowingly (i.e., you knew what it was that you were getting yourself into)
- That you took a substantial step by going beyond the initial agreement
When it comes to drug conspiracy charges – or any conspiracy charges, for that matter – a “substantial step” in furtherance of the conspiracy amounts to more than just merely preparing to partake in the criminal enterprise.
“Beyond a reasonable doubt” is a very high legal burden to meet. A Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer can determine whether or not the government prosecutor has satisfied this high burden. If not, your attorney can request that the drug conspiracy charge against you be dropped and that your federal criminal case be dismissed in its entirety.
Defending a Federal Drug Conspiracy to Distribute Charge
Many state and federal prosecutors like drug conspiracy charges because they only need to show that the accused planned to commit the alleged drug crime (e.g., distribution). They do not, however, need to show that the distribution crime was actually committed in order to charge the accused with conspiracy – and to convict him or her.
Consequently, if you are currently facing federal drug conspiracy charges, it is important that you have a few good legal defenses at your disposal to raise at trial. Some successful defenses in past drug conspiracy to distribute cases have included:
- Duress – can be raised when someone threatened you or a family member with serious bodily harm or death if you did not participate in the conspiracy
- Entrapment – can be raised when a police officer or other government agent used unlawful police tactics or coercion to get you to agree to take part in the conspiracy
- Lack of knowledge – can be raised when specific intent is lacking and you had no knowledge of the underlying conspiracy
- Withdrawal – can be raised when you took specific overt actions to distance yourself from – or withdraw from – the conspiracy and where you took no further action in furtherance of the conspiracy
A Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer can help you decide on the best legal defense to assert in court at your hearing or trial.
Potential Penalties for Federal Drug Conspiracy
Pursuant to Section 846 of the United States Code – a federal statute – any person who conspires with one or more other individuals to commit a drug offense can be subject to the same penalties associated with the underlying criminal offense that was the object of the conspiracy (or attempted conspiracy).
Generally speaking, a federal drug conspiracy conviction can result in large monetary fines (sometimes as large as $25,000 in cash), long jail sentences in a federal detention facility, and a long period of probation or court supervision.
Depending on the circumstances of your individual case, a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney at Wimmer Criminal Defense Law may be able to argue for a penalty reduction on your behalf. For example, instead of incarceration in a federal prison or paying a large fine, we may be able to argue for a period of supervised or unsupervised probation on your behalf.
Keep in mind, however, that the ultimate penalties which a judge imposes upon conviction depend largely upon your criminal history, including prior drug charges and convictions, as well as any pending drug cases you may have in the state or federal court system.
Contact a Philadelphia Federal Conspiracy to Distribute Defense Attorney
Federal drug conspiracy to distribute charges that result in a conviction can place severe limitations on your personal freedom. As a result, if you’re facing conspiracy case, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a skilled Philadelphia federal conspiracy to distribute defense attorney, please call us today at 215-712-1212, or contact us online.
If you are facing a potential federal conspiracy to distrubute charges
The criminal defense attorneys of Wimmer Criminal Defense may be able to provide representation during proceedings. To schedule a free and confidential case review, call today