Under Chapter 777.04 of the Florida Statutes, a Conspiracy Crime is defined as “A person who agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates with another person or persons to commit any offense, commits the offense of criminal conspiracy”.
This type of crime is separate from the criminal act for which a person may also be charged with, meaning that a person can be charged with a specific crime at the same time they are being charged with Conspiracy.
With that said, the crime does not actually have to occur in order for a person to be charged with conspiracy. This means that the defendant can be accused of conspiracy even when the plot was unsuccessful.
It is important to note that Conspiracy cannot exist when a person acts alone. Two or more people must be involved in conspiring to commit a crime with the intent to follow through on their plans. This is because the law considers it to be more dangerous if two or more individuals have the intention of committing an illegal act.
Conspiracy is a derivative crime (the applicable penalties are determined by the crime intended to be committed) and can be ranked as level 1 or level 2, which are both first-degree misdemeanors. However, if the intended crime could have resulted in a felony, the conspiracy would be a first-degree felony conspiracy.
A conspiracy crime is ranked one level below the offense severity ranking that would have been given to the object offense (the main aim or target of the defendant´s conspiracy) under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code.
Defenses toward absolving a person of conspiracy crimes can include:
- No agreement to commit the same offense.
- Mere presence at the scene: stating that the defendant was merely present at the scene and aided in its commission without knowing the nature of the crime committed.
- Lack of proof of agreement: proof presented at trial can be inconsistent.
- Abandonment: the conspirator demonstrates a voluntary renunciation of the criminal conspiracy, and either has persuaded the other individuals involved not to commit the intended act or actually prevented others from following through on the crime.
Conspiracy crimes are serious charges and must be handled by a skilled and experienced attorney in order to preserve his or her interests and gain insight and advice. Russell Spatz is an experienced attorney, who is ready to hear your case and help you through it. To arrange a time to speak with Russell Spatz, call the Spatz Law Firm, PL, today at (305) 442-0200.