Virginia Federal Conspiracy Lawyer
Conspiracy is an extremely serious charge, and if you find yourself facing such accusations, you will need to consult an experienced Virginia federal conspiracy lawyer immediately in order to mount the strongest defense possible. Call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and what a Virginia Federal criminal attorney can do for your situation.
Federal Conspiracy in Virginia
Federal conspiracy charges often stem from a so-called incomplete offense for which authorities lack the evidence to charge a person with the underlying crime. In other words, you can be charged with a conspiracy offense without having actually committed the crime to which the charges are related.
For instance, if a person is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, he or she need not have actually committed – or be charged with committing – the fraud. Rather the prosecution will only need to demonstrate that the accused played some part in furthering the crime or attempted crime, and that he or she was aware of the alleged conspiracy to commit the offense, even when the offense was not carried out.
In some cases, even a simple agreement could be viewed by the court as conspiracy, if it is illegal to enter into such an agreement. This differs from the charge of “aiding and abetting,” which requires a crime to actually have been committed, rather than simply an act in furtherance of the crime.
Conspiracy Charge as Catch-All Separate Offense
Conspiracy charges can apply to any number of individual offenses, depending on the circumstances. Some crimes, such as securities and commodities fraud under 18 U.S. Code 1348, have specifically designated conspiracy to commit the crime as an offense under the statute.
Your Virginia federal conspiracy attorney can investigate the strength of the evidence against you and determine whether you were properly charged and whether your conduct meets all of the elements required under the law for a conspiracy charge.
One surprising aspect of a federal conspiracy charge is the ability for prosecutors to lump all alleged conspirators together under the theory of “vicarious liability,” where each conspirator may be held liable for the subsequent acts of fellow conspirators. This means that a conspirator who backs out of an illegal scheme before an offense is committed can be held just as liable as those who actually commit the crime and can face the same heightened penalties.
This is one reason why it is so critical that you have an experienced Virginia federal conspiracy lawyer fighting on your behalf, working to prevent you from being wrongly convicted of crimes committed by those with whom you may have associated.
Prosecutors sometimes bring conspiracy charges in order to try all accused conspirators together in a joint trial. This legal maneuver, called “joinder,” places defendants at a disadvantage since they may be unfairly found guilty by association with co-conspirators.
An experienced Virginia federal conspiracy attorney can, however, argue that you should be tried separately due to certain exceptions to joinder for federal conspiracy charges. This is just one more reason why it is essential that you work with a seasoned Virginia federal conspiracy lawyer.
Consult an Experienced Virginia Federal Conspiracy Lawyer
Our firm’s experienced federal conspiracy lawyers in Virginia understand that being unfairly accused of conspiracy to commit a crime is frightening and humiliating. If you have been wrongly charged with conspiracy, our Virginia federal conspiracy attorneys will fight passionately to clear your name in court.