Conspiracy Lawyer in St. Louis, MO. Facing a federal criminal investigation can be intimidating and unsettling. These fears can certainly grow if the authorities charge you with conspiracy to commit a crime. A conspiracy to commit a federal crime occurs whenever there is an agreement between you and at least one other person to commit a specific crime. This could be a formal or informal agreement to commit a federal crime. Combs Law Group can help.
If you are facing federal conspiracy charges in St. Louis or elsewhere in Missouri, call our federal conspiracy lawyers right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Our attorneys will meet with you in person and can conduct a free, no-obligation, and confidential case review regarding the specifics of your case.
What Exactly is a Federal Conspiracy in St. Louis?
You can be charged with federal criminal conspiracy if:
- You make an agreement with at least one other person to commit a federal crime
- You and the other person(s) intended to commit the crime
- There was an overt act in furtherance of that crime
Conspiracy laws do not even require that you and the other person(s) meet or interact – as long as they know the other person was doing something to further the conspiracy. This is common in complex, sprawling, multi-level federal conspiracies where a central person is coordinating numerous other individuals. Conspiracies can be carried to overreaching lengths by federal prosecutors who charge you or someone else with no knowledge of the illicit purpose of an agreement. You could be a very minor participant in a conspiracy and be swept up in the same case as someone who is much more responsible for criminal conduct. You can face the same severe mandatory minimum sentences as the managers of the conspiracy.
At Combs Law Group, we understand that good people get caught up in bad situations. Federal conspiracy charges can be defended. Our St. Louis criminal defense attorneys can discuss your case with you one-on-one, develop a successful plan, and vigorously defend the charges. Call us as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online.
How Do Federal Conspiracy Charges Materialize in St. Louis?
Federal prosecutors frequently file conspiracy charges because it is a broad crime that can cover a wide range of topics. Some of the most common types of federal conspiracy charges are:
The United States Code contains other specific conspiracy provisions, including the following:
21 U.S. Code § 846 makes it illegal to commit a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
21 U.S. Code § 1956 makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully agree with someone to engage in a financial transaction that takes “dirty” money obtained through criminal activity and use it in a clean, legitimate way, also called money laundering.
18 U.S. Code § 1349 includes allegations of a criminal agreement to commit mortgage fraud, investment fraud, Ponzi schemes, or telemarketing fraud.
What Are the Possible Penalties for a St. Louis Federal Conspiracy Conviction?
As the above breakdown highlighted, there are many types of common criminal conspiracies prosecuted in federal court. The penalties you face in federal court can vary depending on the type of criminal acts planned and whether prosecutors allege that you or any of your co-conspirators completed any criminal acts.
If the underlying crime was a misdemeanor, mail fraud, or wire fraud, you can face the same penalties as you would for the offense in question. If you face only conspiracy charges rather than the charges from the actual crime itself, you can face up to 5 years in federal prison, as well as fines up to $250,000. If at least one member of the conspiracy completed any criminal acts, you can face the penalties allowed by federal law for those acts. If you have questions about federal conspiracy and the penalties associated with it, reach out to a St. Louis federal criminal defense attorney at Combs Law Group right away by calling (314) 900-HELP or contacting us online.
What Can a Combs Law Group Defense Attorney Do For Me in a Federal Conspiracy Charge?
The defense of federal conspiracy charges requires a unique skill set possessed only by an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in St. Louis who not only scrutinizes the evidence, but also the lack of evidence and any conflicts therein. We also examine the roles that the federal prosecutors think each person had in the conspiracy. Some questions we ask to build an aggressive defense:
- Did the conspiracy exist in the first place?
- Did you know you were agreeing to help with criminal activity?
- Were you a willful participant or did others coerce you into participating in some way?
- Can we suppress certain evidence?
- Can we get a jury instruction that certain evidence does not apply to you as an individual defendant?
We then break things down a bit more, mounting specific defense tactics to utilize. While each case is different, there are several defense strategies our federal conspiracy attorneys could use, including:
There Was No Agreement
Law enforcement and prosecutors have to prove that there was an agreement between you and at least one other person. Raising reasonable doubt about the existence of an agreement is often an effective defense. However, a unique aspect of conspiracy charges makes this defense strategy difficult to establish. Unlike in other cases, prosecutors in federal conspiracy cases can use out-of-court statements made by co-conspirators against you. These statements are normally considered hearsay. But in conspiracy cases, as ruled in Anderson v. United States, conspirators are considered to speak and act on each other’s behalf. This makes these states admissible. Under United States v. Diaz, those statements can even be made before you joined the conspiracy.
There Was No Overt Act
Prosecutors also have to show that an overt act was made in furtherance of the conspiracy. It is not enough to merely plan to conspire and commit the crime, someone has to take a step towards the alleged objective. Showing that this did not happen can be a strong defense.
You Withdrew From the Conspiracy
Our federal conspiracy attorneys in St. Louis can also show that you withdrew from the conspiracy by:
- Notifying co-conspirators that you abandoned the conspiracy, or
- Taking an affirmative step of abandonment, like notifying the police of the plan
Reach Out to a Federal Conspiracy Lawyer in St. Louis | Combs Law Group
When you face federal conspiracy charges, your first call should be Combs Law Group. Our federal conspiracy lawyers in St. Louis are fully confident in our ability to handle even the most complex federal criminal cases. You should have our team serve as your qualified legal representation from the moment you suspect you are under investigation or as soon as possible after an arrest.
Call Combs Law Group at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.