Federal Conspiracy Law Attorney in Kennewick, Washington
If you’re facing charges for a federal crime, it’s essential that you work with a qualified criminal defense attorney who’s well-versed in both state and federal laws. In the vast majority of cases, those charged with federal crimes never go to trial. In fact, a study done by the Pew Research Center found that only 2% of federal criminal defendants find their way to the courtroom, and of these, 83% face convictions. This makes it all the more important that you work with a qualified lawyer who will fight on your behalf in the pre-trial stages to ensure the best outcome possible. No time is this more important than if you’re looking at a conspiracy charge.
If you like to speak with a federal conspiracy defense attorney and are in Kennewick, Washington, or anywhere throughout Walla Walla, Spokane, Benton County, or Franklin County, contact the Nicholas George Law Firm PLLC. Attorney Nicholas George has the practice, knowledge, and resources to fight for your best interests.
Federal Conspiracy Crimes
A federal conspiracy charge consists of five components and they all must be met to qualify for an arrest:
- A conspiracy must have at least two people involved.
- You must form an agreement with the other person.
- The agreement must be intentional.
- The agreement must be about a plan to defraud the government or commit a federal crime.
- You must carry out an “overt act” in pursuit of this agreement.
If any of these pieces are missing or cannot be proven, there can be no conspiracy charge. Importantly, the charge of conspiracy is separate from the actual crime itself, and it’s possible to be charged with both conspiracy and another crime. You don’t actually have to have committed the intended crime to be arrested.
For example, if you entered into a conspiracy with three other individuals to rob a federal bank, obtained blueprints, and wrote out detailed plans of how and when the robbery would take place, then this would count as an “overt act” and you could be charged with conspiracy, even though you never actually robbed a bank. If you did go through with the robbery, you could then face charges for the conspiracy and the robbery itself.
It’s worth noting that you can withdraw yourself from a conspiracy and this can be an effective defense; however, you’ll need to be able to prove this in court by showing that you took an affirmative action against the conspiracy and that you made a reasonable attempt to communicate your withdrawal to your co-conspirators. You can also enter into a conspiracy after the initial agreement has been made and still face the same penalties as those who joined from the beginning.
Overlap of Federal and State Laws
It’s also important for defendants to understand how state and federal laws work together because it’s likely that you’ll be facing charges from both jurisdictions in a conspiracy case. Federal charges are typically reserved for certain crimes (like ones related to immigration, the Postal Service, bankruptcy, or regulating money), but they are also related to crimes that cross state borders or occur on federal property. In reality, when a complex crime is committed (as is often the case with conspiracies) there may be several charges you’re facing with some being federal, some state, and some that can be both.
This last point is critical because many people falsely believe that being charged for the same crime at both the state and federal level would conflict with your rights under the Fifth Amendment which protects you from double jeopardy. However, this protection only applies within a jurisdiction. For example, if a state court tried you for robbery and you were found not guilty, they couldn’t try you again for the same crime. But, when there’s a crossover from state to federal (known as “concurrent jurisdiction”), it would be possible. This could also happen if you’ve taken part in more than one conspiracy, in which case you could be tried and prosecuted for multiple conspiracy charges, and this would not fall under the category of double jeopardy.
Your actual penalties will vary depending on the underlying and concurrent crimes you’ve been charged with, in addition to conspiracy. Penalties will also vary depending on whether you receive a federal conviction, a state conviction, or both. In general, the maximum penalty for a federal conspiracy charge is no more than five years in prison and a fine of no more than $250,000. However, this is only for the conspiracy charge itself, and most people will also be facing additional charges, which could result in compounded jail time or fines.
Federal Conspiracy Defense Attorney Serving Kennewick, Washington
If you’re in the Kennewick, Washington, area and have been arrested for a federal conspiracy charge, you need to obtain legal assistance immediately. Reach out to the Nicholas George Law Firm PLLC to schedule a consultation. You do not have to face challenges alone. Attorney Nicholas George has everything necessary to fight for your best interests, that way you can look toward a brighter future.