Federal Drug Conspiracy Defense Lawyers in New York

New York Attorneys Defending Against Federal Drug Conspiracy Charges

A drug “conspiracy” is simply an agreement between two people to violate drug laws. It is a federal conspiracy if those are federal drug laws. This doesn’t generally pertain to drug use – most federal drug conspiracy charges are for large-scale operations to manufacture and/or distribute controlled substances.

In order to convict an individual of a drug conspiracy, the prosecution must prove that:

  1. There was an agreement between two or more people to violate federal drug laws.
    • This does not have to be a written agreement – it can be a “general understanding” to manufacture, import, sell, or possess with the intent to sell any controlled substance.
  2. The person charged knows about the agreement and joins.

Note that there is no requirement that a person handle drugs to be charged. A person might have a minor role in a drug conspiracy – such as driving a car for someone else involved, placing phone calls, arranging meetings, or arranging the use of facilities or other property – and still be charged with this federal crime. If charged, you face long federal prison sentences and heavy fines.

To defend against federal drug conspiracy charges, your attorney has several options.

  • Your attorney might demonstrate that:
    • There was no agreement to possess, manufacture, or distribute controlled substances illegally.
    • The prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was such an agreement.
    • An existing agreement to manufacture or distribute drugs was legal.
  • Your attorney might demonstrate that you had no knowledge of the agreement.
  • If you were involved in a drug conspiracy, but not in the conspiracy for which you were charged, your attorney can demonstrate this difference and clear you of the charges.
  • If you knew about the plan and withdrew from the conspiracy, your attorney can use this to mount a defense. For this to work, though, you need to communicate with law enforcement. Withdrawing from a conspiracy will protect you from liability for future crimes resulting from the conspiracy, but will not change your liability for past offenses.
  • Your attorney might make an “entrapment” case. This means that law enforcement officials targeted you and “entrapped” you, coercing or tricking you into buying, selling, or otherwise handling drugs.
    • The entrapment defense depends on your attorney demonstrating that you were not predisposed to the crime – you had no history or interest in the drug business. If, for example, you turned down an inducement to buy or sell drugs or otherwise join a drug conspiracy, and undercover federal agents came back to try you again, whereupon you acquiesced, you would be in a good position to use the entrapment defense.
  • Your attorney might have charges thrown out because of an illegal search or wiretap. It will be necessary to file a motion early on in your case.

Over 30 years of state and federal criminal defense experience

For over 30 years, the attorneys at Aiello & Cannick have represented clients in federal drug conspiracy cases. With extensive knowledge of state and federal drug laws, and with the resources and cost-sensitivity to help all of our clients, our efforts have earned us a reputation for discretion, thoroughness, creativity, and hard work, evidenced by our catalog of victories both in and out of the courtroom.

Contact us today to set up a free case review and consultation in our Maspeth, Queens office. In the meantime, continue to explore the legal resources on our blog and videos pages.

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