How did I get charged with conspiracy when I didn’t agree to work with those people?
In defending conspiracy drug cases, I am often asked, “How did I get charged with conspiracy? I did not agree to work with this person or that group. How am I being lumped in with all of these other people?” Well, legally, there does not need to be a formal agreement (either verbally or in writing) between you and anyone else that you’re going to work as a group in order to be charged with conspiracy. You can be charged with conspiracy and be found guilty of conspiracy even if there is an informal understanding. For example, if you begin to receive a certain amount of drugs from Joe, and you do that regularly on a weekly basis, and you know Joe is not only giving you drugs, but he’s giving drugs to your friend and you’re both going out there and selling. Simply your conduct can be considered an understanding, an agreement with all those other people that are doing the same thing you’re doing. The reason that the government likes to charge conspiracy is because it does cast a wide net. So in other words, if they only go with what they caught you with (what you sold or you possessed), you’re going to face a less serious crime. But if they include the amounts you had, and your friend had, and the amount that Joe had because you’re getting the drugs from Joe, and selling them, you’re in a lot more trouble. And that’s why, especially the federal government, likes to charge conspiracy cases.