Richmond Drug Conspiracy Lawyer
Drug conspiracy charges are charges where two or more individuals work together toward committing a drug offense or drug distribution case. With a conspiracy charge not only will you be charged with the underlying offense but also the conspiracy. Conviction on a conspiracy case can result in serious punishments with significant jail sentences, making it imperative that a Richmond drug lawyer is consulted as soon as possible.
Severity of Drug Conspiracy Charges
Drug conspiracy charges are very serious mainly because the state and the prosecutors look at it as a venture to work with others to break the law and distribute illegal drugs. Conviction on conspiracy charges can often result in sentences that can range from 12-month minimum mandatory sentences up to 5 years minimum mandatory sentences depending on the underlying charge.Drug conspiracy charges, just like any conspiracy charges, are only as serious as the offense itself.
Drug conspiracy essentially is an additional Class 5 felony. A conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute is going to be a Class 5 felony. It is the exact same charge as a simple possession. These charges carry the maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. A person can receive no time in some cases, or they may receive a fine of $25,000. The possible penalties for a Class 5 felony, a person can be sentenced from anywhere from no time up to 10 years in jail, and a fine of $2,500.
One example of conspiracy would be two or more people come together and make an agreement to possess cocaine and then they do something in furtherance of that possession. In most cases there is one individual who goes and gets the drug, and either they use the drug, or they might get it and share it with their friends. It is not likely that a case will revolve around a conspiracy to possess something. In Richmond, the only time a person is really going to see a drug conspiracy charge is in a conspiracy to distribute. It is not likely going to be a conspiracy to possess because the prosecutor is not going to charge a person with a conspiracy to possess.
What Needs to Be Proven
Prosecutors in Richmond need to prove that two or more individuals agreed to work together to carry out a violation of the drug charge. In other words, that the two individuals work together to either possess or distribute the drugs.
In addition to that, the prosecutors have to show that the individuals took the steps towards committing the crime. And then those prosecutors have to show that the individuals or the conspirators in such cases both knew and intended to commit the crime. That they had knowledge of what they were doing and they intended to take those illegal actions.
Drug Conspiracy Investigations
Drug conspiracy investigations typically involve confidential informants or undercover officers. The investigations must show that two or more individuals had knowledge of the criminal activity, worked together toward that criminal activity, and took steps to carry it out.
Prosecutors will often use one of the conspirators to testify as to what occurred and the criminal conspiracy. Prosecutors will then often provide video, audio, certificate of analysis on drugs, and in some cases financial information based on a confidential informant’s information.
Being Charged With Conspiracy and the Underlying Offense
People can be charged with conspiracy and the underlying offense (i.e. conspiracy to distribute and, distribution). In fact, in most cases, a person will be charged with both crimes. However, it is rare for a person to be charged solely with conspiracy. In almost every case, a person is charged with conspiracy to commit the offense, and then the offense itself. It is more common to be charged solely with a distribution charge because in Richmond, there is a lot of street-level narcotics going around and so the only time that police actually find out about a completed offense or find out about an offense is either because it has been completed.
However, in higher-volume selling of narcotics, it is more common to see conspiracy charges, without completed offenses only because you will have CI’s and undercover officers who have been embedded in the criminal enterprise in some way, shape, or form. Before an actual deal occurs, the police can arrest everybody and charge everyone involved with a conspiracy as opposed to solely for street-level narcotics.
Importance of An Attorney For Drug Conspiracy Cases
What you want to look for an aggressive Richmond drug conspiracy lawyer that is going to challenge the state’s evidence, including their informants, witnesses, and officers involved in the investigation. Informants or witnesses used by the state are often part of the conspiracy or have criminal records of their own.
As a defense attorney, not only are you challenging or impeaching witness testimony but also seeking to challenge how evidence was obtained and if any constitutional issues exist. Lastly, you’re going to need an attorney that can also negotiate a settlement with the prosecutors if needed.