When presenting defenses in DC federal conspiracy cases, the court often does not allow statements to be brought into the case unless originally said in court. If the person who made the statements is not in court, there is no opportunity for cross-examination. The prosecution presents a statement that the defense cannot challenge. A decisive federal embezzlement attorney could try to exclude those kinds of statements called out of court statements.
Conspiracy rules do allow those kinds of statements to be presented in court when they are part of the conspiracy. Statements that any co-conspirator made in the furtherance of the crime can be used against a person that might otherwise be excluded under the hearsay rules.
The argument prosecutors usually proceed with under with any conspiracy case is that it does not matter if the person knew the whole plan as long as they knew there was a conspiracy of some kind to commit an illegal act and they participated in it. They believe that that is enough to hold them accountable for the whole thing which can be fairly harsh. This places a large importance on creating strong defenses in DC federal conspiracy cases.
Someone with a minor role in a conspiracy may not realize that at the higher level in the conspiracy, people are committing murder and stealing millions of dollars. That can be a real problem in those kinds of cases; especially if all of the co-conspirators are put on trial together because the accused could be deemed guilty by association.
If a person exits the conspiracy; that can create a defense that they should not be held liable for anything that happened after they left the conspiracy. The person must be able to clearly show the indicia of getting out of the conspiracy and breaking off their involvement.
A person must be able to optimally show the jury when they broke off from the conspiracy. An email can indicate they are out of the conspiracy or they refuse to do anymore acts to steal money, bring in new Ponzi scheme investors, sell more drugs, or whatever the conspiracy involves. The clearer the evidence of that, the better it is for the defense.
Many times, having the accused take the stand could help present the limited extent of a person’s involvement in a conspiracy because this gives the court the opportunity to hear their version of the alleged events. By submitting themselves to cross-examination by the prosecutors, the prosecutors can use their line of questions to actually link the person to the criminal conduct and prove their case even more strongly.
Testifying on the stand could be a strategic part of the overall defense strategy an attorney helps create on your behalf. An attorney may suggest a no agreement defense for trial. This means, outwardly saying that the person was not part of the conspiracy to commit any kind of criminal act and that they may not even know the alleged co-conspirators. Another defense possibility is to fight the connection and then attack the underlying charges.
The first thing a person should do is figure out all of the people they think are in involved in the conspiracy. The defense attorney identifies the client’s relationship to those people. For example, a mortgage fraud case has six co-conspirators. One of the parties is charged as part of a conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud.
However, the person never met four of the other people charged with the alleged conspiracy. The person has a tremendous disadvantage because they do not know what the other parties might have said or what they are saying. When a person does not know the other alleged co-conspirators, it is difficult to identify the relationship and what is involved in the conspiracy to know how to challenge that.