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Federal Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Lawyer St. Louis, MO
Federal Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances St. Louis, MO. Charges surrounding conspiracy to distribute controlled substances such as furanyl, fentanyl, carfentanil, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, or cocaine can be difficult to ascertain. Regardless of your true intentions or actions, you now find yourself facing much harsher consequences than a simple possession charge — on a federal level, no less. Call a federal criminal defense lawyer at Combs Law Group immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Our St. Louis conspiracy to distribute controlled substances attorney can provide a free, confidential case review to go over the specifics of your case.
We fully understand that good people find themselves in bad situations. Federal conspiracy cases are complex and the consequences are severe and often life-changing. Take your federal conspiracy to distribute controlled substances charges seriously and find a skilled lawyer who can protect your rights and fight an unfair outcome. Combs Law Group can help. Our conspiracy to distribute controlled substances legal team knows how to challenge a conspiracy charge and can help you get a fair result. You need someone on your side who will fight to defend your rights and future.
What Exactly is Conspiracy to Distribute in St. Louis and Why am I Being Charged?
21 U.S. Code § 846 details the federal laws against conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. It is unlawful to conspire with others to distribute, manufacture, or dispense a controlled substance. It is also illegal to attempt to distribute, manufacture, or dispense a controlled substance. Basically, even if you fail to complete a distribution crime, you can still face federal charges for the attempt or conspiracy. Also, any attempt or conspiracy is considered the same as a completed distribution crime.
A conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, like furanyl, fentanyl, carfentanil, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, or cocaine, is based upon an underlying possession with intent to distribute offense that involved more than one person. What makes conspiracy charges so challenging, though, is the fact that anyone who had any involvement whatsoever in the distribution of an illegal controlled substance could potentially be charged.
Federal conspiracy charges are one of the tools that prosecutors use to aggressively pursue drug cases. Unfortunately, this means that you can be charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance without being guilty of any other crime, or without any intent to be involved in a drug crime.
Circumstances That Can Trigger a Conspiracy to Distribute Charge in St. Louis
Conspiracy to distribute is charged in cases where there was an alleged distribution of drugs. As a result, if you are charged with simple possession, it’s unlikely that you will be charged with conspiracy to distribute. The following are common circumstances that lead federal prosecutors to file conspiracy to distribute charges:
- Someone was arrested with a large quantity of drugs
- At the time of the arrest, police discovered guns, cash, or other evidence of a drug distribution operation
- The arrest discovered a large quantity of materials used in the manufacturing or distribution of drugs, such as scales, chemicals, or baggies
- There is evidence that the drug operation involves multiple people, violence, or other illegal activities such as drug trafficking and money laundering.
Federal prosecutors often use conspiracy charges in order to further their investigation of an illegal drug operation. As a result, they may charge a low-level offender with conspiracy to distribute in an attempt to get that person to testify against other members of the conspiracy in exchange for leniency. If you have been charged with, or are being investigated for, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, call Combs Law right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
Substances Likely to Lead to a Conspiracy Charge in St. Louis and Missouri
Some substances are more likely to lead to a conspiracy charge than others. Under the federal Controlled Substance Act, drugs are placed into five categories, or schedules, based on a variety of different factors. Schedule I and Schedule II — drugs the government has deemed illegal without accepted medical use or with a high potential for abuse — are the harder drugs most often leading to conspiracy charges.
These drugs, particularly in large amounts, are commonly referred to as “top of the list” drugs among federal investigators and prosecutors:
What the Prosecution Must Prove in a Conspiracy Case in St. Louis
Federal prosecutors will often charge you with conspiracy in an attempt to gain leverage or even to try to intimidate you. They’ll make it sound like the case against you is open-and-shut, but it’s important to remember that they have to prove the charges against you. Also, they’ll have to do so with a St. Louis criminal defense attorney from Combs Law standing right beside you. In order to convict you of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, the federal prosecutor must prove:
- That you and at least one other person agreed to engage in the distribution of illegal drugs
- That you participated in the distribution of illegal drugs knowingly, willingly, and intentionally
- That you took substantial steps toward committing the crime
The prosecution must prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must often rely upon circumstantial or even hearsay evidence. Proving intent can also be difficult. What constitutes a “significant step” can be difficult to define – it must be more than mere preparation, but prosecutors frequently have a broad definition of what actions are considered substantial.
Thankfully, our St. Louis conspiracy to distribute controlled substances attorney has extensive knowledge of and familiarity with how federal prosecutors and judges handle these cases. Call Combs Law today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
Potential Penalties for Conviction of Conspiracy to Distribute in St. Louis
The penalties you face if convicted of conspiracy to distribute will vary widely depending on the drugs involved, the quantity, your criminal history, and other circumstances surrounding the charge. There are mandatory minimums and maximums under 21 U.S. Code § 841 and 21 U.S. Code § 846, ranging from 10 years to life sentences. Under 18 U.S. Code § 3553, a judge may impose a sentence below the mandatory minimum only in limited circumstances – including if you cooperate substantially with the government or you meet the “safety valve” requirements:
- The defendant’s criminal record is minimal, as defined by 18 U.S. Code § 3553(f)
- The defendant did not use violence or threats or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon in connection with the offense
- The offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury
- The defendant was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense and was not engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise
- The defendant truthfully disclosed to the government all information and evidence the defendant has about the offense or offenses before sentencing, which cannot be used against the defendant to increase the sentence
Since 1995, approximately 80,000 federal drug offenders facing mandatory minimums have received the safety valve. Contact Combs Law today or call (314) 900-HELP.
This online sentencing calculator is based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and provides a good starting point for what a federal drug sentence might be. It is important to note the final determination is made by the judge.
Defending Against a Conspiracy to Distribute Charge in St. Louis
An experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will be able to evaluate the prosecution’s case and defend you against the charges. Some of the defense strategies you may be able to raise include:
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Lack of intent
- You did not take any overt action to advance the crime
- You did not agree to participate in the crime
Contact a St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney to Discuss Your Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Charges | Combs Law Group
If you are facing federal conspiracy to distribute charges, time is not on your side. The prosecution is lining things up right now, aggressively working against you. The best thing you can do is contact an experienced St. Louis criminal defense attorney at Combs Law right away. We will fight the prosecution’s charges and get a fair result.
Call a Combs Law conspiracy to distribute controlled substances lawyer now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.