Drug-related convictions occur when the prosecutors can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person has committed a drug crime. So then, what is a drug conspiracy? What makes this charge different from a normal drug crime, and what actions can lead to this type of conviction?
This article looks at the specifics of drug conspiracy charges, example scenarios, and what it means to be charged on state and federal levels.
Drug Conspiracy Charge, Defined
A drug conspiracy charge is applied when law enforcement can prove that two or more participants planned to commit a drug crime. It does not matter if the plan is for possessing, manufacturing, or distributing an illegal substance. Any group with an action plan involving drugs can receive a drug conspiracy charge.
The plans can be detailed and thought out, but they don’t have to be.
Drug Conspiracy Examples
Conspiracy to distribute
A friend is providing a ride to someone in possession of a controlled substance, and the driver is knowingly or unknowingly taking them to a drop-off location. If an officer finds the drugs, the driver could be charged with a conspiracy to distribute if officers can prove they knew about the drugs at any point of the friend being in the car.
Conspiracy to manufacture
A group plans to purchase the ingredients to make methamphetamine. If the group buys the ingredients, but no one actually makes the substance, each individual can still be charged with conspiracy to manufacture. If the group is caught before the purchases are made, they can also receive a charge just for creating a plan in the first place.
Conspiracy to possess
A pair of friends plan to obtain a sizeable amount of cocaine. If caught without possessing the actual substance, they can still receive a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute based on the amount they were trying to get.
State Drug Conspiracy Charges vs. Federal Drug Conspiracy Charges
Conspiracy charges can take place in either state or federal courts, depending on the nature of the crime.
State Law for Drug Conspiracy
Receiving a drug conspiracy charge in Georgia means more than one person was found planning to:
• Manufacture or cultivate an illegal substance
• Distribute an illegal substance
• Possess an illegal substance with intent to distribute
Georgia law looks at the amount and the classification of the controlled substance(s) involved to determine the severity of the punishment. If the person is charged with a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, the charge will be minimal. If the conspiracy was to commit a felony, the convicted could face 1-10 years in prison.
Federal Law for Drug Conspiracy
There are several ways to reach federal court for a conspiracy to commit a drug crime, including:
• Being caught on federal land (national parks, government buildings, school grounds, etc.)
• Being caught by a federal officer
• Conspiring to commit a drug crime severe enough to be a federal offense, like:
o Trafficking both in state and across state lines
o Manufacturing large amounts
o Possessing and/or distributing large amounts
Just like state courts, the federal courts determine sentencing for drug conspiracy convictions based on the substance involved, the amount involved, and the nature of the crime itself. The minimum sentence is typically five years, while the maximum penalty can reach up to 40 years, depending on the factors of the case.
If you have received a drug conspiracy charge, let Bushway Law Firm fight for you.
Gregory Bushway is a former prosecutor who now provides excellent counsel in drug-related cases. Schedule a consultation with our team today, and let Gregory prepare your defense: 478-621-4995