Under Massachusetts criminal law, the crime of Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws may be found under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 94C, Sections 40.
A conspiracy is a criminal agreement between two or more people who intentionally work together to commit a crime. This law recognizes that criminals are more dangerous to society when they join and work together toward a common criminal purpose.
The old adage “two heads are better than one” holds true even for those engaged in criminal activity. The more people involved in joint criminal activity, the more successful they will be, which poses heightened threats to the community and public safety.
Because of this, the law imposes additional penalties on criminals who organize and work together by criminalizing both their criminal agreement (i.e. the conspiracy) and the underlying criminal conduct committed by any member of the conspiracy in furtherance of the conspiracy’s goal(s) or objective(s), which may include distribution, manufacturing, or possessing a controlled substance.
If you have been charged with conspiracy to violate the drug laws in Massachusetts and need an experienced MA Drug Crimes Attorney call (508) 213-9113 to schedule your free consultation with the Law Office of John L. Calcagni, III.
Legal Elements for Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws
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In order to be convicted of Conspiracy to Violate the Drugs Laws under Massachusetts criminal law, there must exist strong evidence of the following three legal elements:
- that the defendant joined in an agreement or plan with one or more persons
- that the purpose of the agreement was to distribute, manufacture and/or possess one or more controlled substances
- that the defendant joined in the agreement or plan with both knowledge of its unlawful purpose and the intent to help carry out or further that purpose
The Agreement Necessary to Prove a Conspiracy
The crime of conspiracy is designed to punish the existence of a criminal agreement. Under Massachusetts criminal law, is not necessary that the conspirators formulated a formal agreement, agreed on every detail of the conspiracy, or even that they met together.
Proof of the agreement may be in their words, whether spoken or in writing, or conduct. This proof may be by direct or circumstantial evidence. It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove the defendant knew every member of the conspiracy or was aware of the actions of each co-conspirator.
Evidence that a defendant knew of the existence of the conspiracy, associated with conspirators, or was merely present during the commission of an act in furtherance of the conspiracy is not alone sufficient to prove guilt.
There must be proof that a defendant intentionally joined the criminal agreement with knowledge of its unlawful drug purpose and with the intent that the underlying purpose of manufacturing, distributing or possessing drugs be committed.
Potential Punishment if Convicted of Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws
The punishment under Massachusetts criminal law for Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws may be found at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 94C, Section 40.
Convicted offenders may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and/or a fine that does not exceed the maximum allowable punishment for the underlying drug offense that was the object of the conspiracy.