In terms of Washington 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. Drug conspiracy crimes are typically federal crimes that are charged at the federal level and 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.
Drug Conspiracy Under Washington Law
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.
Penalties for Drug Conspiracy
As stated above, drug conspiracy crimes are typically charged at the federal level. This means that the penalties for the crime will be determined via Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The guidelines determine federal sentences based primarily on two factors. These are:
- The conduct associated with an offense; and,
- The defendant’s criminal history.
A federal judge can depart from the Sentencing Guidelines (i.e., make a sentence more or less severe) based upon:
- The specific facts of a case;
- Any aggravating factors; and,
- Any mitigating factors.
Federal sentences for drug conspiracy crimes typically involve long stretches of jail time and substantial fines.
The good news is that there are legal defenses that a defendant can raise to try and beat a drug conspiracy charge. Many of the defenses commonly available in federal drug cases revolve around how federal law enforcement agencies obtained the evidence that they are trying to use against an accused. If a criminal defense lawyer can show that evidence was gathered improperly, or against a person’s constitutional rights, then the evidence can likely get dismissed from the case.
Please note that it takes an experienced drug conspiracy attorney to raise the best defense on behalf of an accused. The drug lawyers at Black & Askerov have the experience that matters in drug conspiracy cases. They are also tireless in their representation and work passionately to fight for their clients -on all crimes. Simply contact them today and get the legal help that you deserve.