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What you should know about federal drug conspiracy charges

It may come as a shock to realize that you could be charged with a federal drug crime without having drugs in your possession. This means there are no drugs in your home, in your car or on your person. In fact, authorities are well within the law to levy drug charges against a person based solely on the company he or she keeps. In the far-reaching realm of federal crimes, these types of drug charges can occur when someone conspires with others to break federal drug laws.

Of course, law enforcement personnel must have cause to file such charges, but Maryland residents should know about the possibilities. Federal drug conspiracy charges are quite serious and require immediate action to mount a defense. Factors that can exacerbate the charges include the amount of drugs involved in the alleged conspiracy, the existence of a criminal record and whether or not the defendant's actions caused injury or death.

To prosecute a federal drug conspiracy successfully, government prosecutors must prove the following three elements:

-- There was an agreement between individuals to violate a federal drug law

-- Each of the involved conspirators were aware of this agreement

-- At least one act designed to further the conspiracy took place

The penalties a conviction will bring depend upon several factors relevant to the case. However, you should know it is possible to receive a jail sentence of five years to life in prison. Also, associated fines could range in the millions if a conviction occurs.

Obviously, those charged with a federal drug conspiracy or other federal crimes risk their entire lives if they choose not to seek legal assistance. At the very least, defendants should consult with a criminal defense attorney to explore the options for building a defense.

Source: FederalDrugCharges.net, "Federal Drug Charges," accessed Nov. 05, 2015

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