Federal Defense Lawyer for Your Solicitation and Conspiracy Crimes
Three classes of federal crimes often get grouped because they are inchoate crimes. Conspiracy crimes, attempt crimes, and solicitation crimes involve actions taking steps to commit a crime. That crime is the target offense.
You cannot be convicted of a conspiracy, attempt, or solicitation crime if the activity planned is not illegal, so the burden rests with the prosecution not only to prove that the defendant conspired, attempted, or solicited but also that what the defendant attempted was an illegal act.
No matter your situation, a conspiracy lawyer from the Zoukis Consulting Group can defend you. Call us now to set up a consultation.
While there are several federal conspiracy charges one can face, all of them boil down to one element: conspiracy crimes occur when two or more people agree to participate in criminal conduct or undertake other prohibited actions.
Once the agreement has been reached, the crime has been committed. On the state level, some codes hold prosecutors to prove that some action followed the planning.
More often than not, conspirators are tried together for conspiracy crimes, although motions to sever by conspiracy attorneys are not unheard of. In either case, prosecutors can use co-conspirators’ statements as evidence against their co-defendants.
Conspiracy crimes differ from other inchoate crimes in that an alleged criminal can also be charged with the target crime and a conspiracy charge. That is not the case with the others. A conspiracy lawyer will have specific expertise in this exception to the inchoate crime definition.
With most conspiracy convictions, the corresponding sentence does not exceed five years’ imprisonment, though there are exceptions, including:
- Conspiracy to commit a terrorist act
- Drug trafficking
These conspiracy charges carry the same punishment as the principal offenses. All conspiracy convictions can include fines of up to $250,000, and restitution orders may come into play, as well.
Unlike conspiracy, attempt crimes are part of the target offense, meaning that if federal prosecutors charge you with a drug distribution crime, they cannot also charge you with attempting the crime as well.
Also, unlike conspiracy crimes, attempt crimes need two elements proven: the accused must intend to commit the target offense and take some action toward committing the crime.
Without concrete steps toward committing the target offense, an attempt by itself is not a crime, no matter how offensive the intended action might have been. Because of the attempt crime’s inchoate nature, prosecutors may charge a defendant with either the attempt or the target crime– only one or the other.
Almost without exception, the punishment for an attempt is the same as the punishment for the target crime. However, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines provide steeper sentences for more severe target crimes, namely terrorism and related attempts and crimes.
When prosecutors issue a solicitation charge, they intend to prove that the defendant intentionally hired or otherwise convinced someone else to engage in a violent crime. This is a crime with two elements:
- The defendant intends for another person to commit a crime.
- The defendant persuaded or attempted to persuade through coercion, command, or other methods.
A competent solicitation attorney can successfully argue against the defendant’s guilt by showing that the defendant managed to prevent the crime he stands accused of soliciting. Calling off the hitman falls under this umbrella.
Somewhat different from other solicitation charges, charges of soliciting a minor, a sex charge. It involves:
- Convincing a minor to cross a border (state or international) to engage in illegal sexual activity
- Using the Internet or mail services to persuade a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity
- Crossing borders to engage in sexual activity with a minor
- Crossing borders with a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity
Not engaging in sexual activity is not a defense against this type of solicitation charge, and whether the person was or was not a minor is immaterial. The prosecution must only prove that the defendant thought the person was a minor. The penalty can range from ten years to life imprisonment.
Like the punishment for attempted crimes, solicitation crimes stand linked to the target crime’s punishment. Unless the target crime’s punishment is life imprisonment or the death penalty,
the fine and the prison sentence cannot exceed half the target crime. In a life term or a death sentence, the sentence will not go over 20 years.
A Conspiracy and Solicitation Attorney Can Help
When faced with any federal charge, you must not attempt to handle things yourself. Keep in mind that less than one percent of federal defendants win an acquittal at trial.
If the feds are coming for you, you need a solicitation lawyer on your side for a solicitation case, a conspiracy lawyer for a conspiracy case, and so on. Do not labor under the illusion that the feds are at all playing around.
Whether you are facing charges or stand convicted, the resources available to you through the Zoukis Consulting Group can make things much more manageable for you and your family, so take advantage of all the help you can.
Schedule a consultation today.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Aug 7, 2023 at 12:44 am