Evidence in DC Conspiracy Cases

Evidence in DC conspiracy cases is often disputed, as a crime does not always need to be committed for a person to be charged with a conspiracy offense. A person who was accused of committing any type of conspiracy offense may want to seek legal counsel from an aggressive conspiracy attorney. They could review the factors surrounding the alleged offense and work to develop a credible legal defense strategy. Call and schedule an appointment to begin discussing your potential legal options.

Elements of a Conspiracy Case

Forming an Agreement

In most conspiracy cases, the prosecution needs to prove several different elements. The first element generally involves demonstrating that there was an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. Agreements do not necessarily have to be in writing, and they do not necessarily have to include every single detail of a plan. The agreements can be entered into orally, in writing, or through some other manner, but prosecutors generally need to prove the agreement existed. This may be shown through some type of tangible evidence such as recorded statements, text messages, emails, or letters exchanged between individuals involved in the alleged conspiracy offense.

Intentionally Joining an Agreement

The second element prosecutors have to prove in a conspiracy case is that the defendant intentionally joined in that agreement. That is often disputed as circumstantial evidence. Prosecutors cannot prove what a person thought, but in some instances, the circumstances of the situation could present plausible assumptions. For example, if a person is friends with the other people who have agreed to commit a crime or if the defendant was near other individuals who agreed to commit the offense, they could potentially be viewed as part of the conspiracy.

Furthermore, the government needs to prove that the defendant intentionally joined in the agreement. It is not uncommon for an investigator or prosecutor to use undercover officers or paid informants who are cooperating with law enforcement agents to gather evidence of conspiracy agreements. Additionally, the prosecution may obtain search warrants or issue subpoenas for text messages or emails. However, law enforcement must follow strict constitutional requirements to obtain and use those warrants. In many cases, the warrants have limitations in which law enforcement must abide by during the search. The method in which potential evidence is collected generally needs to be in compliance with the terms outlined by the warrant.

Committing an Overt Act

The final element the prosecutors need to prove in a conspiracy case is that once a person became involved in the conspiracy, they did something in furtherance of the crime. This is also known as an overt act. Prosecutors do not need to prove that a crime was actually committed, or that the goal of the conspiracy was achieved. A person simply needs to carry out an act for the purpose of carrying out a conspiracy. An overt act could include purchasing supplies to commit a crime, such as a firearm, ammunition, and other tools that may be used.

Contact a DC Attorney About Evidence in Conspiracy Cases

If you were charged with any type of conspiracy offense, consult with a lawyer who is well-versed in defending such cases. They could examine the factors that may have led to your arrest and work to dispute potential methods and evidence that the prosecution may attempt to leverage against you in court. Call and schedule an appointment immediately to discuss the legal procedures surrounding evidence in DC conspiracy cases.