View Full Version : Conspiracy case, should he take it to trial? HELP

12-19-2008, 11:37 PM
My husband got indicted in September of this year on a conspiracy charges. It was quite a high quantity of drugs. There was never any wire taps or recorded conversation but just someone else got caught on the highway and started pointing fingers. My husband has 3 paid attorneys working on his case. He was offered a plea for 82 months which is very good (according to me) because he could have been charged as a habitual offender and got life in prison, but the US attorney chose not to. The maximum is 40 years. He thinks he can beat the charges and get out free, I have heard the federal conviction rate is really high and I know that the US attorney will probably give him the max if he was found guilty. I was wondering if anyone had any similar situations or any advice, because I cannot just stand there and let him hang himself. God bless:)

12-20-2008, 05:46 AM
There are a number of questions to consider:

1. What is the quantity and type of drug charged in the conspiracy? Different quantities of different drugs carry different mandatory minimum sentences.

2. Does he have any prior convictions for felony drug offenses? If so, it doubles the mandatory. If he has two, it could make the mandatory sentence life imprisonment.

3. Who are the snitches and what is their relationship to him?

4. Most people don't realize that in federal court the government can secure convictions on very little evidence. Members of a conspiracy need not know each other. As long as the government can convince a jury that your husband agreed with others to achieve the common goal of selling drugs, he'll be convicted.

5. You're right, their conviction rate is ridiculously high. That being said, in the right case, they can be beat. The problem is though that they don't have to disclose witness statements until just before trial so your husband will not be able to make an informed decision as how to proceed.

6. One thing sticks out to me. Does your husband have a legitimate, verifiable job? If not, the government will try to make alot out of it. Not to mention, there's always the risk that if a jury sees 3 lawyers at trial, they may think he has alot of money. Without a good job, that could hurt him.

Good luck.

12-20-2008, 06:37 AM
Tandi, first off, welcome to PTO and sorry to hear about your situation, you couldn't have found a better place to seek help and support.
I really am not much help as far as the legal way of going about this but can relate and share some points since I recently experienced a similar situation.
One thing I know for sure is that an offer of 82 months would have been a blessing in my mans case and from what I know, Id tell you to have him take that offer. The federal sentencing guidelines follow a point system guideline which is based on prior criminal history. (personally I think they make up guidelines as they go and all they want is a snitch)
Regardless, money for a good fed attorney can help by simply fighting point reduction and if the attorney knows and gets in good with that judge, well you might just get some lucky dust. Ive heard though that plenty of times even the best fed attorneys cant help much for the simple fact that YES federal convictions run high specially if its a conspiracy which is looked at as organized crime... (not to mention what kind of drugs these were and if they were coming from another country which is then considered some type of terrorist activity)
Is there a PSI written already, if so did the pre sentencing investigator seem a bit in your favor at all? The psi is important and is part of what the judge will make his decision on. Have people who know him well write letters on his behalf to attach to the psi and write one for the judge as well. Find out who else in the conspiracy is getting more less how many years, who was the head of it and how much is he getting, how close is your husband to the main people in this case. Gather all possible info and base your decision to take it to trial or not depending on how much you have on your side other wise take the plea. I really dont think he can just get out free though, unless he plans to cooperate, this is the Fed system you dealing with!

You are welcome to PM me... wish you luck and keep strong

12-20-2008, 08:04 AM
NO!!!!Conspiracy is almost impossible to beat,especially if your husband has prior convictions.I was charged with posession with intent on a kilo of cocaine.My lawyer said that he can beat the charge but the prosecuter has promised to recharge with conspiracy if we go to trial.Needless to say I had to take the deal.Conspiracy is very very hard to disprove.If your husband goes to trial then he will lose the few points for acceptance and face a much harsher sentence.My lawyer was all for fighting in my case, but once conspiracy was mentioned, he changed his outlook 180 degrees.Good luck on whatever you decide to do.

yzz aka Flygirlaa alias
12-20-2008, 08:19 AM
He is caught in a no win situation. If he accepts the verbal plea agreement, they will enhance him and he will get much more than what they "promised". If he fights it, they will get vengeful in sentencing.

I cannot advise you because this is a serious, serious issue. But if I were in your shoes, I would allow him to make the decision and support which ever he chooses.

Bookmark PTO, you are gonna need it.

12-20-2008, 01:41 PM
The federal conviction rate for cases that go to trial is very very high. So to take it trial would be a HUGH risk. You will have a greater chance at winning the lottery that you would at winning the trial. And as it was stated earlier - conspiracy cases are very hard to beat. Lastly, if he goes to trial and loses, he will receive a lengthy sentence. You can always tell which inmate pled guilty and which inmate went to trial by the length of their sentences. A trial will certainly add years to a sentence if not decades. You don't have an easy choice to make, but I wish the you best.

12-20-2008, 02:52 PM
Even if he wasn' charged as a habitual offender, if the judge chooses to, he can sentence him as one. Federal court is a mess. My brothers were tried in fed court, 2 got life, one 30 years, no evidence, just snitches, saying whatever the prosecutors told them to say, to get their time cut. Crack cocaine, 50 grams or more... It's hard to beat the feds. Good Luck I'm praying for you both. Also in the plea, make sure the judge agrees to it, I know someone who took a plea and the judge gave him the max, saying that the deal was with the prosecutors not him. This is election year and they are being tough here, fed and state.

12-20-2008, 05:31 PM
Hi again, You and your boyfriend should read these stories, it really sad, and it was snitches(liars, someone making a deal) that go these people locked up.

Locked Up for Life, Part One: The Case of Clarence Aaron on fox news . com

Kemba Smith, testimony of Kemba Smith, search google, this would not allow me to put website address.

12-20-2008, 06:20 PM
There are a number of questions to consider:

6. One thing sticks out to me. Does your husband have a legitimate, verifiable job? If not, the government will try to make alot out of it. Not to mention, there's always the risk that if a jury sees 3 lawyers at trial, they may think he has alot of money. Without a good job, that could hurt him.

Good luck.

Thank you all for your best wishes :). He has a legitimate company and so do I. and concerning the jury I don’t know if all will go to trial or not? But I plan on standing y his side regardless of the end results will become. Me myself being a law student and in my final year know that it’s hard to prove a case agents the feds especially in conspiracy cases. The US attorney even said to my face that she “could indict a ham sandwich” if she wanted and win the case lol. I just want the whole ordeal to be over so we can know what path God has directed our live in. I just pray to God that prosecutor stands on her word and if he chooses not to go to trial, the judge agrees to the 82 months. It’s been hard because he has really tried to change his life since the last time he was in jail. He has nonprofit organizations for troubled teens and hope they can look at things of that sort in there judgment.

01-13-2009, 10:23 PM
my husband was convicted on conspiracy charges and he was just in this guys house, when he was told the charge was conspiracy his lawyer advised on not going to trial. Wise choice in his case, the ones that chose a trail got 10 years plus, HE ended up with around 2 years, he is in the RDAP program and should be coming home this year. Like previously posted, all it takes is someone saying your name or you being in the wrong place at the wrong time and you can't win when you are going against the BOP on conspiracy charges. They may not have any proof, but you can't take that chance. He had one prior conviction on the state level 8 years earlier and did 7 months. TEven with a court appointed lawyer he did pretty good. GOD is still good. Good luck

01-14-2009, 02:26 AM
Conspiracy is a charge that is tacked on to almost every Fed case. It ASSURES them a conviction. It could be as simple as a conversation ABOUT committing an offense.

In my experience and those of others I know, Conspiracy (mine was Conspiracy to defraud the US Government) cannot be beat. I believe its a way of boosting your Sentencing guidelines so you caould face more time.

Funny how when the threat of a longer sentence is presented, they somehow slide that 5-k across the table to try to get you to sign.

01-14-2009, 07:56 AM
don't have anything to add, except that I agree with the others
I wish you and your husband the best...this life can be a living hell
do what YA'LL think is but IMO it would be a worse level of hell to pay all these lawyers who have "promises" and then for him to STILL get found guilty with a high charge.

01-14-2009, 04:49 PM
The feds can and will do whatever it takes. They lie and make up stuff and get by with it. It is pathetic and sad that they can stand there and lie to a judge with no consequences. Until things change and they are held accountable for their lies nothing will change.

01-14-2009, 05:19 PM
My Husband was offered a plea deal and promised 10 years. During sentencing, they gave him 35. If he accepts a plea, get it in writing. Law Enforcement is allowed to lie legally so never take them at their word.

01-14-2009, 10:20 PM
I agree originally my husband was brought up on 2 conspiracy charges. It should have just been one case but because different people were involved in one and not in the other they made it 2. Anyhow my huband plead guilty to poss w. intent to distribute marijuana and they dropped both conspiracy charges. He was give 30 months, many of the others are looking at 10 or more and some are still going to court and others just barely went to court and it's been since May. My lawyer said conspiracy dosen't have to be proven because it's just the act of doing something, just talking about it. I would tell him not to take it to trial it's just to risky, he will serve some time but at least you will know he is going to come home.

01-14-2009, 10:43 PM
From my personal experience, I'd take the deal. When I was charged I had intentions of pushing the issue. The Feds dug up more dirt on me and I was told if I didn't take the deal (which neted me a year and a day plus a couple of years SR) they were going to indict me on other charges. Needless to say, I took the deal. The lucky thing with me is I haven't been in trouble for a long time and my lawyer got the agreement in writing. It was like a contract. They averaged the points, my past history and came up with a number that was appropriate. I got a good deal, the feds got a conviction, case closed.


02-04-2009, 03:39 AM
The Feds do whatever they want and whenever they want. I to was arrested on conspiracy charges and have witnesses on me whom I never even met. But, you know they prep them for trial. The Key witness whom is an x close friend of mine pointed at everyone he could when he was arrested. They just came to my house with an arrest warrant. No search, No seizure, No caught red handed doing anything. The arrested me on the word of My xclose friend, His Fiance' and 2 others whom I do not even know ,

02-05-2009, 08:22 PM
The Feds do whatever they want and whenever they want and say whatever they want to whenever they want to, truth or not.
Conspiracy charges? I would hire the best criminal lawyer, have him fight for the best plea agreement, then take it.
You are dealing with the biggest liars on the face of the earth. I have never encountered anything like it.

02-14-2009, 01:06 PM
Don't go to trial. My husband and friends were very optimistic and turned down plea agreements. My husband could have served 1-5 years. Lost at trial and was sentenced to 18 years. Others were given between 20-28 years. We are now again very optimistic about our Appeals; but this could have all been prevented. It kills me to admit this but the Feds. always win. When that verdict comes back its like a big reality check. Don't do it!

02-14-2009, 01:26 PM
I am sorry to say that he will lose if he goes to trial. They say there are two kinds of inmates in the federal system. Those who plead and those who wish they plead.He will lose because conspiricy does not require evidence. All they need is someone who says that they saw him do it. It is enough. And with priors a jury will not find him as sympathetic. He will lose and you will lose him for life. Do what ever it takes to convince him to plead out, so you can still have a future with him in your life.

02-15-2009, 04:51 AM
My boyfriend was charged with conspiracy. He was "threatened" by the prosecution if he took it to trial, they'd file another enhancement (from a situation 12 years ago.....and no, there is no such thing a statute of limitations in the federal system. They know how to get around that.) and they'd take him for mandatory life. He took the plea bargain and "only" got the mandatory minimum 20 years (he'd had a prior conviction which doubled the mandatory sentence). One of the other co-defendents who had no priors ended up with 3 years because he qualified for the "safety valve".
Same case, same gets 3 years, one gets 20. How messed up is that?!!?!?
As was previously posted, whatever they offer GET IT IN WRITING!!!!!

02-15-2009, 01:51 PM
Two reporters from the Pittsburgh Post did a ten part series on the feds titled, "Win At All Costs" ( back in 1998. There used to be a link to the full series, but I could only find the link from the paper, which offers an abbreviated version. But it's enough to frame what he is up against in a conspiracy case.

Retaliation is the feds first response to anyone who stands up to them, and they frequently use third parties to carry it out.