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Process of Proving Maryland Federal Conspiracy Cases

In a federal conspiracy case, the prosecutors need to prove that there was a conspiracy. Federal conspiracy crimes require that at least two or more individuals have agreed to or planned to either commit an offense against the United States or defraud the United States in any manner or for any purpose.

After the plan has been agreed, at least one of the conspirators must take an overt act. This does not have to be a major or significant act, and it does not have to be a criminal act, but anything that is done to further the plan is sufficient to establish a conspiracy conviction.

The prosecution will likely prefer direct evidence and may seek the testimony of the accused during the process of proving Maryland federal conspiracy cases. Therefore, it can be critical to speak with a skilled federal conspiracy attorney.

What Types of Evidence is Used in a Conspiracy Argument?

Evidence used by the prosecution can include many things such as direct evidence like messages, email, text messages, social media communication, wiretaps, recorded phone calls, etc. Even when there is no direct evidence, they may have testimony from one of the co-conspirators who turned or agreed to be a witness for the government. That can be used by the government to establish the meeting of the minds. It is not a requirement for the prosecution to show a written agreement, but such an agreement can be used as evidence of the meeting of the minds.

Impact of Using Wiretaps to Prove Federal Conspiracy

The government has to show that there is probable cause to get permission to conduct a wiretap before using one in their investigation. Once this is done, they will be able to monitor communications. A major part of a conspiracy charge is that communication showing an agreement or plan between two individuals. When that communication is done through electronic devices, the wiretap can collect that data.

This information or evidence can be supplemented with other evidence like surveillance footage or search warrants that produce drugs, cash, paraphernalia, or other items that are related to the conspiracy. the wiretap can lead to very compelling evidence for the government.

What is Considered a Hearsay Statement?

Both sides of a criminal charge may encounter hearsay as evidence during the process of proving Maryland federal conspiracy cases. Hearsay includes statements that are outside of court that are offered as evidence. This is not allowed in evidence because one of the core principles of a trial system is cross-examination. If one party is offering evidence, then the other party gets to examine it. If this evidence is testimony, then the other party gets to ask questions and examine the witness.

However, if one party is trying to bring in outside statements, there is no way to cross-examine that statement. However, the co-conspirator hearsay exception is that if the person who made the statement is suspected to be a co-conspirator, then their statement can be allowed in even though it would otherwise be hearsay.

Role of Proving Intent in Cases With Multiple Defendants

Throughout the process of proving Maryland federal conspiracy cases, proving intent is a critical element of the prosecution’s argument. There has to be the intent to enter into the plan or conspiracy, and there also has to be intent to commit the offense or fraud. If the person engages in a plan to commit some sort of financial transaction but they honestly believe that it is not fraudulent, then that is not going to meet the elements of a conspiracy. There has to be a  meeting of the minds, an actual agreement, and intent to commit an offense or to defraud the government.

Some of the most unique circumstances in conspiracy cases are the criminal employment testimonies. Very often, many people are arrested and charged in conspiracy cases. If every person allegedly involved provides little to no information throughout the investigation, the prosecutors may proceed to trial with only circumstantial evidence. These cases can be hard to prove circumstantially, so the government pushes to get at least one suspected co-conspirator to cooperate.