Los Angeles Drug Conspiracy Attorney
Did you know you can be convicted of an offense for planning to commit a crime? Planning a crime with the assistance of others is an independent offense under both California and federal law. For example, if you are accused of planning to sell drugs in Los Angeles with the help of at least one other person, this plot is a criminal offense. It is known as criminal conspiracy, and depending on the allegations against you, you could face serious state or federal charges.
If you are arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy, do not hesitate to seek out legal advice from a Los Angeles drug conspiracy attorney. At Spolin Law P.C., we are prepared to vigorously defend you in court. To discuss the charges against you and how a drug attorney at our firm can help, call us today at (310) 424-5816 or use our online form to request a free consultation.
California Drug Conspiracy Charges
You can be charged with planning to commit a drug crime under California Penal Code (PC) 182. Under this law, conspiracy is defined as two or more persons conspiring:
- To commit any crime
- Falsely and maliciously to indict another person for any crime, or to obtain another person to be charged or arrested for any crime
- Falsely to move or maintain any suit, action, or proceeding
- To cheat and defraud any persons of any property, by any means which are themselves criminal, or to obtain, money or property by false pretenses or by false promises with fraudulent intent not to perform those promises
- To commit any act injurious to the public health, to public morals, or to pervert or obstruct justice, or the due administration of the laws.
- To commit any crime against the person of the president or vice president of the United States, the governor of any state, a justice or judge, or any executive secretary of the U.S.
For a California prosecutor to prove you committed conspiracy, they must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Agreed with one or more other people to commit a crime
- You or co-conspirator committed an overt act to further your agreement
This second element is important, and a Los Angeles drug conspiracy attorney will emphasize it throughout the legal process. You cannot face a drug conspiracy conviction on words alone. You cannot be convicted for talking with a friend about growing an acre of marijuana plants without a license. You or your friend must have taken a step toward unlawfully growing the drug, though the overt act does not have to be a crime itself. The over act could include acquiring land, clearing the property of other plants and animals, or fertilizing it prior to planting. The overt act could also be purchasing farming and agricultural equipment you would need to plant and care for an acre of marijuana plants.
Penalties for Conspiracy in California
If you are convicted of conspiracy related to a drug crime in California, the potential penalty depends on the crime you were planning to commit. If you conspired to commit a felony, then you can be penalized to the extent that the intended felony can be punished. If the felony is one that has varying degrees, then the judge or jury must decide the degree of the crime you were intending. If that is not agreed upon, then you will be punished based on the penalties allowed for the lower felony offense.
If you conspired to commit a misdemeanor drug crime, you face up to one year in county jail, and a maximum fine of $10,000. For help avoiding these harsh statutory penalties, contact a Los Angeles drug conspiracy attorney at our firm today.
Federal Drug Conspiracy Charges
21 U.S. Code § 841, and 21 U.S. Code § 952 outline federal drug laws. If you and at least one other person plan to import, cultivate, manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess a controlled substance in violation of these statutes, then you can be charged with conspiracy under 21 U.S. Code § 846.
To prove you committed a drug conspiracy under federal law, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- There was an agreement between you and at least one other person to violate federal law
- You knew the agreement existed and was unlawful
- You voluntary joined the agreement
Unlike with other federal conspiracy charges or California conspiracy charges, prosecutors do not have to prove you or a co-conspirator committed an overt act when it comes to drug crimes. All it takes to be convicted is a knowing agreement between two or more people. It does not matter if none of you took any other steps toward committing the offense.
Additionally, prosecutors do not have to prove you knew every aspect or the details of the conspiracy. Many drug crime conspiracies involve several people. You can be convicted of federal drug conspiracy even if you did not know how each co-conspirator fit into the plan.
If you are charged with being part of a federal drug conspiracy, you face the same penalties as the intended offense. You should speak with a federal drug crime attorney about the potential punishment for that offense, which depends on the type and amount of the drug involved and other factors.
Defending Against Conspiracy Charges
If you have been charged with conspiracy to commit a drug crime, call a Los Angeles drug conspiracy attorney from Spolin Law P.C. today to learn more about your potential defense. Your lawyer may be able to establish in court that:
- There was no agreement to commit a crime.
- You did not join the agreement.
- There was no overt act in furtherance of the agreement.
- You withdrew from the conspiracy.
- You lacked the necessary intent to commit the crime.
- You have been falsely accused.
- There has been a mistake of identity.
- You participated under duress.
- You are a victim of entrapment by law enforcement officials.
Contact a Los Angeles Drug Conspiracy Attorney Today
Facing federal drug conspiracy charges? If so, it is essential you contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney right away. Federal prosecutors do not need to prove anyone committed an overt act in regard to drug conspiracies, which makes it relatively easy for them to win convictions.
To fight back against allegations of these offenses, you need a lawyer from Spolin Law P.C. to help protect your rights and freedom in court. We will thoroughly review the case against you, find the holes in the prosecutor’s case, and use these weaknesses to create doubt in the jurors’ minds.