A conspiracy is an agreement between multiple people to commit a criminal offence. The definition of an agreement is relatively wide and a conspiracy does not actually require you to go through with the agreement. The intention to do so is enough.
The supply element of the offence is relatively straightforward to establish and simply requires passing possession from one person to another. There does not need to be any form of commercial reward for the individual supplying the drugs, the act of passing the drugs to another is sufficient.
You do not need to be in possession of drugs in order to be charged with this offence. The prosecution will typically rely upon circumstantial evidence to demonstrate an agreement to supply drugs. This can be in the form of telephone calls, social media messages and your association with other people alleged to be involved in the conspiracy. As such, you could potentially be found guilty for this offence no matter what role you have in the conspiracy. It may be that you have never seen drugs being supplied but played another role, for example if you are pressured or intimidated into transporting the drugs.
If you have been charged with such an offence, the prosecution could apply for a restraint order which has the impact of freezing your assets until the conclusion of the trial. This would have a financial impact on you and your family. It is important that you seek legal advice to ascertain if the validity of the order can be challenged or that the order can be varied to ease any financial pressure.
A variety of factors are taken into consideration when determining the sentence to be imposed. However, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is life imprisonment should you be convicted of this offence.
The sentencing judge is directed to the ultimate role that you played in the conspiracy so that you are sentenced on the level of your criminal conduct. The sentencing guidelines make reference to leading roles, significant roles and lesser roles all of which impact the sentence to be imposed. Other factors which should be taken into account relate to any benefit you received (if any), whether you were a vulnerable person, whether you were threatened to partake in the conspiracy, your level of remorse and your cooperation with the investigation. These are all mitigating factors and it is important that the sentencing judge is provided with this information so that you are not given an excessive sentence.
How Stephensons can help
If you have been charged with an offence, your case will be handled by one of the partners or senior associate solicitors in our specialist criminal defence team. Our team is recommended in tier one of the Legal 500 and will provide you with clear advice and expert representation throughout the course of the proceedings. We appreciate that this will be a difficult time for you and your family and we will ensure that you are fully supported throughout this process.
If you require immediate representation we have expert police station representatives available 24 hours a day all year round. If you require emergency assistance outside of normal working hours, please call 07836 574 607.
Otherwise, please contact the office on 01616 966 229 or complete an online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you as soon as possible.