There are many common federal conspiracy cases that can take place in DC. An individual can be served this charge in the public corruption context, in which the government alleges an individual committed bribery and/or deprivation of honest services. Conspiracy is a popular charge, because it allows the government to charge multiple defendants in the same indictment, and oftentimes guarantees that a judge will not grant a defense attorney’s motion to serve the cases. This means that each individual is tried together in one joint trial.
Due to the various elements involved in federal conspiracy cases in DC, an individual should not face the court without the assistance of an attorney. An experienced conspiracy lawyer can assist in presenting a strong defense, and fight to reduce any penalties you may be facing.
Conspiracy cases are one of the most common federal cases in DC. In conspiracy cases, the government has the advantage of having multiple people who may have had different levels of criminal responsibility, if any, in the case all grouped together with the danger that the jury may amalgamate the evidence, and say that they are all equally guilty. The judge will instruct the jury to consider the evidence individually against each defendant, but the danger of amalgamation of evidence is always present in joint trials with multiple defendants charged in the same criminal act.
When an individual has a separate trial, there is much less of a danger that a jury will conflate the evidence against all parties involved. The judge will always instruct the jury that they must consider the evidence equally against each individual alone, and not as a collective. Unfortunately, sometimes those instinctive thoughts that the jurors may have to deliver a group sentence may be hard to overcome.
In federal narcotics cases, where there are multiple defendants, the government will almost always have a count of conspiracy in the indictment. This often includes either conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, or conspiracy to distribute a quantity of an unlawful substance like cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine. Recently, methamphetamine cases are growing, where there will be large cases with large numbers of individuals charged with conspiracy, along with other underlying narcotics charges.
An individual will also see the government often charge conspiracy in mail fraud, wire fraud, mortgage fraud, and healthcare fraud cases. In these kinds of cases, there are often multiple defendants, and generally, there is a conspiracy charge included. This is quite common among federal cases in DC.
Any time the government believes that it can allege that two or more individuals were a part of a common agreement to commit the same crime, they will include a charge of conspiracy into the indictment. There is no requirement that all of the members of the conspiracy even know about each other, or even know each other personally. There could be an instance where there are 10 defendants in a criminal conspiracy case, and each person only knows one other person in the case. Unfortunately, if the government can prove an agreement between those two individuals which ties into the larger conspiracy with the other nine individuals, that is all the government will need to prove a conspiracy conviction.