Drug conspiracy charges are often used when investigators believe a defendant was part of an agreement to violate drug laws and took some action toward doing so. Conspiracy charges are different because defendants can face many of the same penalties as they would have if they had actually carried out the crime.
For state or federal drug-related conspiracy charges in Texas, that can mean mandatory prison sentences, significant fines, and prohibitive probation. Let’s take a closer look at what goes into a conspiracy charge and how defendants can fight them.
Elements of a Drug Conspiracy Charge
The basic elements of a drug conspiracy charge require that someone was a knowing and voluntary party to an agreement with someone else to violate drug laws.
Beyond these basic elements are specific factors that can determine the likelihood of facing drug conspiracy charges and being convicted of them.
Such factors can include the following:
- How long a defendant is alleged to have been affiliated with the conspiracy
- Whether or not transactions were standardized
- Whether or not a method of payment was established
- Whether or not there was a mutual level of trust involved in the alleged conspiracy
- The amount of drugs allegedly involved in the conspiracy
- Other crimes that may have been planned or acted upon
Keep in mind that a defendant facing conspiracy charges doesn’t need to be a person who would have actually carried out the conspired crime. For example, a drug conspiracy charge can follow a person who helped to make arrangements for the sale of drugs but would not have been directly involved in the transaction itself.
Penalties for Drug Conspiracy in Texas
The penalties for a drug conspiracy conviction depend on the severity of the charge, which itself depends on the nature and circumstances of the offense allegedly conspired. For this reason, drug conspiracy charges, at the state level, can go anywhere from a Class A Misdemeanor to a First-Degree felony.
Here’s how convictions for drug conspiracy in Texas can be punished:
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to $4,000 in fines and/or up to one year in jail.
- State Jail Felony: Up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to two years in county jail.
- Third-Degree Felony: Up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to 10 years in prison.
- Second-Degree Felony: Up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to 20 years in prison.
- First-Degree Felony: Up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to 99 years or life in prison.
If a defendant is charged in federal court, the penalties of a conviction may be similar but will depend on other factors, such as their criminal history as well as the type and quantity of drugs involved.
Defend Against Drug Conspiracy Charges
If you are facing drug conspiracy charges, your freedom is on the line. You can defend against these charges and increase your odds of reaching an agreeable outcome with assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Law Office of Rene A. Flores PLLC can provide the legal support you need during this time. Learn more by contacting us online now.