On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Federal Crimes on Thursday, August 23, 2012
Every individual facing criminal charges needs to have a defense strategy. Sometimes, depending upon the situation, pleading guilty can be a part of the strategy. In many cases, a guilty plea is part of a negotiated deal that lessens the penalties for a crime. No matter what the strategy, it is important that the accused does not give up on defending his or her position. A strong defense strategy has the potential to result in mitigation or dismissal of charges.
A Missouri man and former St. Louis police officer pled guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in February and was recently sentenced to almost four years in prison as a result. The man’s crime was a violation of federal criminal law.
Last year, almost two dozen individuals were indicted because they were allegedly involved in a motorcycle gang called the Wheels of Soul. According to authorities, the gang distributed drugs and committed robberies all in the interest of raising money. The gang has also been accused of being involved in three murder cases.
A conspiracy occurs when two or more people make an agreement to commit a crime and it is followed by an action to carry out the agreement. Even if the crime is not committed, the plan and conspiracy to commit the crime is a separate crime. If the crime is actually committed, it often leads to charges for conspiracy, as well as the organized crime.
However, no matter how severe the charges, it is always important for accused persons to defend their cases. There may be holes in the prosecution’s arguments or mistakes made by the police. If any of these mistakes were a violation of an individual’s constitutional rights, it may serve as a basis for a less punitive punishment and sometimes even a complete dismissal of the charges.
Source: The Republic, “Former St. Louis-area police officer gets nearly 4 years in prison for role in biker gang,” The Associated Press, Aug. 15, 2012