DRUG CONSPIRACY UNDER WASHINGTON AND FEDERAL LAW
Under Washington and federal criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. Generally, a drug conspiracy is where two or more parties conspire, or agree, to commit a drug related crime. Most significant drug conspiracy crimes are investigated by federal law enforcement and charged as federal crimes that are prosecuted in federal court. If you or a loved one has been charged with drug conspiracy, it is critical that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney now for assistance.
In general, a prosecutor must successfully prove four elements in order to convict a person of drug conspiracy in Washington. These are:
- The defendant agreed with one or more persons to commit a drug related crime (e.g., possession or manufacturing);
- The defendant made the agreement with the intent to commit the crime;
- Any of the persons involved took an act in commission of the crime; and,
- Any of the acts took place in Washington State.
Please note that an “agreement” does not have to be an official agreement as the term typically implies. No formal agreement is necessary under Washington law for this element to be satisfied. All that is required is a showing that the parties worked together with a common understanding and plan to commit the crime in question. The elements of conspiracy under federal law are substantially the same. In federal court, prosecutors typically pursue “Pinkerton” liability, which holds one conspirator responsible for the reasonably foreseeable actions of another co-conspirator.