Montgomery County Drug Conspiracy Lawyer
Drug conspiracy charges are as serious as typical drug offense charges. Even if someone might not have ever touched a controlled, dangerous substance or been around the controlled, dangerous substance, their involvement with a conspiracy would have them facing the same maximum penalties as the person who is charged with the original offense.
Should you find yourself facing charges, a Montgomery County drug conspiracy lawyer can help you build a proper defense. It is important to note that a person can be charged with both conspiracy and the separate underlying offense, and because of the seriousness of this possibility, a skilled drug defense attorney‘s assistance is necessary.
Elements of a Conspiracy Charge
A drug conspiracy charge in Montgomery County is different than other drug-related offenses which usually involve possession. Drug conspiracy does not require someone to actually be in possession of a controlled dangerous substance in order to be involved in the conspiracy for a drug-related offense.
That means that a person charged with a criminal offense does not necessarily ever have to have seen the drugs, purchased the drugs, sold the drugs or anything associated with the common criminal enterprise. Conspiracy to distribute, for example, could be that a person was simply facilitating a drug transaction between two parties, which is often as easy as just making a phone call or driving a car.
More often, what is heard about with respect to drug conspiracy is a simple meeting of minds between one or more parties in order to further the criminal act or enterprise.
Depending on the actual offense, they face the same maximum penalty as someone who is charged with the original offense. For example, possession with intent to distribute marijuana carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail. Someone charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana could also face the same maximum penalty of five years in jail. The maximum penalties are sustained, although conspiracy is usually considered a misdemeanor whereby the actual offense is considered a felony.
The maximum penalties are sustained, although conspiracy is usually considered a misdemeanor whereby the actual offense is considered a felony.
Burden of Proof
When it comes to the burden of proof, the prosecutor must prove that there was a meeting of minds between two or more parties in furtherance of the criminal act itself. In other words, moving forward the actual drug conspiracy by way of two parties or more deciding to commit the crime and ultimately seeking each other out for the crime to be successful constitutes a conspiracy.
Usually, the most common way to prove intent is to follow the money. If one person is being enriched, or expects to be enriched, by the drug distribution or receives some value for their involvement, that is enough to demonstrate intent.
From the prosecution’s perspective, drug distribution conspiracies in Montgomery County are investigated by determining who is involved. Usually, someone is responsible for getting the drugs manufactured, and then transporting them to a particular area in large quantities, as well as distributing them to local dealers who might distribute them in smaller quantities. Those are the hierarchies associated with any drug case.
Usually, detectives try to use a smaller drug distributor to go after larger drug distributors that are part of the conspiracy. They gather as much information about as many of the parties that are involved in order to effectuate a more successful and wide-reaching drug investigation.
One of the most important techniques that law enforcement uses is confidential informants to try and get either at original drug distributors that might have sold to lower-level dealers or get a confidential informant to turn over other parties they believe are potentially involved in the drug distribution ring either through direct or indirect contact.
How an Attorney Can Help
There are many attorneys who do not have experience in drug cases. It is important to select a Montgomery County drug conspiracy lawyer with experience specifically with drug cases because of the constitutional issues and ability to use them to effectuate the most successful defense.
In order to begin discussing potential defenses as soon as possible, It is important to have the charging documents, if available, to share with the attorney at the first meeting. Also, a person should share any information about alibis, witnesses or bias some witnesses might have. A Montgomery County drug conspiracy lawyer will investigate the matter thoroughly to identify issues that the person may not have known were relevant and could potentially be very helpful in criminal court.