Consistently honored as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, and as one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Pennsylvania by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Hope Lefeber has aggressively defended individuals charged with conspiracy for over 30 years, and fights to prevent her clients from being convicted of conspiracy charges.
Federal conspiracy charges are probably the most frequently charged federal crime. Some federal conspiracy charges are specific — Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud, Drug Dealing, Health Care Fraud, Bank Fraud, Securities Fraud — and others simply criminalize an agreement between two or more individuals to commit some federal offense. Prosecutors charge conspiracy because they believe that they can get additional facts, information and inferences into evidence at trial, that would otherwise be inadmissible, had conspiracy not been charged.
Conspiracy is one of the most powerful prosecutorial tools at the government's disposal and is often abused. Conspiracy charges allow prosecutors to claim that a person is responsible for actions of others and even for crimes that were never actually committed.
This is a particular problem in both white collar crimes and drug cases. For example, a person who had a very minor role in a drug conspiracy that involved a significant quantity of drugs can be subject to a mandatory minimum for all the drugs in the conspiracy. In a fraud case, a minor participant can be responsible for the loss caused by co-conspirators with whom he/she had no involvement.
A conspiracy to commit a federal crime can be prosecuted whenever there is an agreement to commit a crime between two or more people. In certain cases, the government does not even have to prove an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. The government also does not have to prove that there was a written agreement between the co-conspirators or that the goal of the conspiracy was accomplished.
The general federal conspiracy statute is 18 U.S.C. § 371. Conspiracies to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, and securities fraud are prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 1349. Drug crimes are prosecuted under 21 U.S.C. § 846, which makes it illegal to commit a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. 18 U.S.C. § 1951 (Hobbs Act Robbery) prohibits committing a robbery of any article in interstate commerce and contains its own conspiracy provision.
Whether law enforcement agents have executed a search warrant, reached out to you in some capacity, have arrested you — or if you have been indicted — it is critical that you hire an experienced, federal lawyer who will aggressively and competently defend your rights. The consequences of not doing so can result in years in prison along with enormous financial penalties.
Federal criminal defense attorney Hope Lefeber has been representing people charged with conspiracy for over 30 years and has a reputation for the best results. She is extremely well-known and respected in the federal courts for her aggressive and effective representation of her clients.
If you are facing conspiracy charges, contact the Philadelphia law office of Hope Lefeber by calling 610-668-7927 or completing our online form. Ms. Lefeber is tireless in her pursuit of her client’s constitutional rights and vigorously challenges any evidence obtained by the government. Consultations are free and confidential.