Nashville Drug Trafficking And Conspiracy Attorney
Charges of drug trafficking and conspiracy almost inevitably produce confusion, and with good reason. The scope , meaning and parameters of these charges are in many ways very unclear.
Technically, a “conspiracy” is an agreement between two or more persons to engage in a criminal act for a common purpose. People facing drug trafficking and conspiracy charges are often confused and surprised to learn that they are accused of acting in conspiracy with dozens of people, most or all of whom they do not even know.
In reality, conspiracy charges can serve as a “catch all” to enhance charges and increase legal penalties. By charging a conspiracy, the government can consolidate multiple individual cases into a single indictment — thereby reducing the workload on the government and increasing the difficulty of the defense for each defendant. Also, by charging multiple defendants in a single case, the government gains a tactical and evidentiary advantage at trial. For example, there are rules of evidence relating to “hearsay” that specifically allow the government to introduce statements of one conspirator against another conspirator – without calling that person as a witness and subjecting them to the crucible of cross-examination. Therefore, by charging a conspiracy, the government can introduce statements by an alleged coconspirator who may never appear in the courtroom. By charging cases in this way, the government gains a tactical advantage at trial and makes it more difficult for the defense to demonstrate the unreliability of the evidence or lack of credibility of the information.
Sometimes, people charged in drug cases find themselves facing other “add on” charges that subject them to enhanced penalties. There are a number of ways in which a routine drug case can escalate into a crime carrying significant mandatory minimum sentences – sometimes even “life” sentences. It is not uncommon for the government to allege that drugs were distributed in a “school zone” which, in turn, significantly increases the statutory punishment for the charges. Likewise, for particularly large or extensive (in time or scope) drug conspiracies, the government might charge a “Continuing Criminal Enterprise” resulting is significantly enhanced penalties. Finally, for defendants who have a criminal record consisting of prior felony drug convictions, the federal government will often file or threaten to file an enhancement increasing the statutory penalty to “life” pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §851.
Frequently, people charged with drug trafficking also see other collateral crimes alleged in their indictments. It is not uncommon to see money laundering, firearms and forfeiture counts also charged in cases alleging drug violations. When facing multi-faceted cases with various charges, it is important to defend these cases comprehensively with an understanding of how the proof on different counts can be interwoven and how defenses to collateral counts can impact (favorably or negatively) proof on other counts in the indictment.
An Experienced Attorney Committed To Making A Strong Case
Having handled hundreds of serious drug cases involving every kind of naturally occurring, designer or commercially manufactured drug, Kimberly S. Hodde understands how unsettling it is to face charges that you don’t understand and that seem unfair and arbitrary. Ms. Hodde is committed to defending clients against charges of drug trafficking and conspiracy, and working toward the best possible result for each client.
She has the expertise to minimize your exposure to conspiracy charges and to work to convince government authorities that you are either not part of the conspiracy or to extract you from the conspiracy by proving the relationship was merely that of buyer and seller. Furthermore, constitutional issues often play an important role in the defense of these cases, and Ms. Hodde is well-known for her knowledge and experience in identifying and successfully litigating these issues. She uses her arsenal of skills as an experienced federal criminal defense practitioner to achieve satisfactory results in her narcotics cases.
If you have questions regarding drug trafficking and criminal conspiracy charges, contact Hodde & Associates. Kimberly S. Hodde can be available for evening and weekend appointments. Ms. Hodde is mindful that you may not have budgeted for funding your defense; so, under some circumstances, she will work with defendants and/or their families on a reasonable payment plan. The firm is conveniently located in a freestanding building on Music Row, just one mile from the federal courthouse with abundant free parking. Contact us at 615-242-4200.