Conspiracy To Distribute a Controlled Substance Defense Attorney
Being charged with a drug crime is very serious, especially when it is related to distributing the controlled substance rather than simply possessing it. Many people don’t realize that it’s possible to be convicted of a drug crime – conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance – even if you’re never seen selling drugs and you aren’t caught with any drugs on your person. It’s essential to know the law so you can protect yourself and your rights.
Conspiracy is defined as two or more people making an agreement to commit a crime. In order to convict someone of conspiracy, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements:
1. An Agreement Was Reached
The first element of conspiracy is that an agreement to commit an illegal act exists. This doesn’t have to be an agreement in writing or formalized in any way; it simply needs to be a common understanding between the individuals. The prosecutor must also prove that all individuals charged with conspiracy actually intended to enter into the agreement.
2. An Overt Act Was Taken
In Washington DC, it’s not enough that two or more people have a plan and an agreement to commit a crime. Simply talking about the crime is not enough. There must be an overt act taken in furtherance of the agreement to commit a crime. This overt act does not have to be taken by all parties. It’s only necessary for one individual to perform an overt act. For example, if three people agree to rob a bank, and one of them starts casing the bank to see when the shift change takes place, or what kind of security is in place once the bank is closed, this is likely an overt act. It is enough for a conspiracy charge for all parties even though only one individual was involved in the overt act.
Conspiracy To Distribute A Controlled Substance
It is illegal for an individual to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, distribute, or possess a controlled substance. It’s clearly unlawful, then, to conspire to distribute a controlled substance. As noted above, it’s important to realize that you don’t have to actually sell the drugs to be charged and convicted of this crime. If you and a friend come up with a plan to sell drugs and you’re designated as the lookout person, this is still a crime, even if you never saw, touched, or had anything to do with the actual drugs.
If you’ve been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, your lawyer can raise several defenses, including the following:
Withdrawing From The Conspiracy
If you’ve conspired to sell a controlled substance and then realized it was a horrible mistake and you want to withdraw from the agreement, you can end your involvement and avoid criminal liability. This can be difficult to prove, and it also takes more than just fleeing from the scene once you see the police. To withdraw from a conspiracy, it’s required that you essentially cancel out any assistance you provided in furtherance of the crime, and you must do so before the conspiracy cannot be prevented. If you and your friend already started selling drugs and you later decide you don’t want to be part of it anymore, it’s probably too late to withdraw from the conspiracy and spare yourself from criminal liability.
In order to be convicted of this crime, the prosecutor must prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt. If they simply don’t have enough evidence that you were selling drugs or otherwise involved in the conspiracy, they won’t be able to secure a conviction. For example, if they have no evidence that you were ever near the drugs and no evidence that you spoke with the others that are allegedly involved in the agreement, this could be a valid defense.
Conspiracy Is Complicated – Contact Our Experienced Attorneys
Understanding how conspiracy charges work can be complicated, so the more information you have, the better. If you find yourself caught up in a conspiracy to engage in some type of illegal activity, keep in mind that you can withdraw from the conspiracy and attempt to avoid criminal liability. If you are unsure, or are in need of legal counsel, our firm can help. Complete our contact form or call (202) 860-3007 to find out more.