Legal proceedings involving attempt or conspiracy to commit federal drug crimes in Maryland can be a gray area. The complicated investigative methods used for collecting evidence and interpretation of the legal definitions of these two crimes can be overwhelming. A Maryland federal drug conspiracy lawyer can help break down the complex legal jargon and explain to you the situation.
When an individual takes a substantial step towards a crime it is perceived as an attempt to commit that crime. This means the person has the intention to commit the crime and something interfered that made them unsuccessful in proceeding with the entire commission of the crime.
With Maryland federal drug cases, the concern is not so much for the victims, as it is for the actual criminal act. For a person charged with attempted murder, for example, it matters if they committed the murder because somebody is dead. That affects how the sentence is carried out or how the prosecution decides to proceed with the case.
For example, in an attempted drug distribution case versus an actual drug distribution case, whether or not the act was carried out is not relevant to the spirit of the law, which is to tackle drug distribution and the efforts towards it. Whether the government prosecutes someone for an attempt instead of the actual commission of a crime, the manner of prosecution does not affect the case; it is not that significant.
A conspiracy for drug distribution in Maryland is a meeting of the minds between parties who carry out the crime. It does not matter whether the person had any intention of committing the crime. Their assistance to another person in the commission of it constitutes a conspiracy and carries the same penalties.
Conspiracy to commit a crime may be less serious than the actual commission of a crime in the way the case is perceived. The conspirator might not have actually touched the drugs or participated in distributing the drugs, but they facilitated the crime taking place. A Maryland federal drug conspiracy attorney can help discern between what actions were and were not a part of the crime. They might be seen as less culpable than the person who physically carried out the criminal act. For the most part, conspiracy is still seen as a very serious part of the entire criminal operation.
The attempt to commit the crime in most federal circumstances carries the same penalties as the actual commission of the crime. When the person attempts to commit a drug crime that is not successful, that modifies how a prosecutor might look at the sentencing of the matter.
When the government prosecutes an attempt or conspiracy to commit a crime, it is no different than when they prosecute any another case. The authorities gather evidence, identify witnesses, and try to determine whether the person took a substantial step towards committing a crime which constitutes an attempt. If the person had a meeting of the minds with other people in furtherance of a crime, he or she is a co-conspirator.
Prosecutors conduct the investigation, find witnesses, take statements, and examine evidence such as surveillance tapes, fingerprints, or other forensics to determine whether they have enough information to criminally prosecute a person for an attempt or conspiracy to commit a crime.