Drug conspiracy is when more than one person agrees to commit a particular crime. In this particular arena or as it relates to drug-related cases that means when one or more people agree to commit a drug-related crime. It may be beneficial to speak with a Ft. Lauderdale drug conspiracy lawyer because the agreement alone is the crime. The commission of the crime does not need to be completed to be prosecuted. If two or more people agree to commit a crime, commit the crime, and are caught by law enforcement, an individual can be charged with both the conspiracy to commit the crime and the crime itself. That makes it a little more challenging when an individual is facing two drug charges as opposed to one. If you are facing intent charges, speak with a distinguished drug attorney about beginning your defense for court.
What is the Difference Between Conspiracy and Other Drug Charges?
In Florida, criminal conspiracy and the drug offense are two separate charges, and they could be charged together in one case. Most other drug-related cases involve, at some point in time, an individual either possessing the drug or constructively possessing the drug. This particular crime of conspiracy involves just the agreement with two or more people. Most law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, and judges, especially in the drug arena, take conspiracy seriously.
The theory is that if those people are not prosecuted, they are going to eventually commit the crime that they agreed to anyway. Those people should not be prosecuted any differently than the people that commit the actual crimes. For a person to be prosecuted for conspiracy, they do not have to complete or commit the crime. Due to the severity of a drug conspiracy offense, it is important to contact a Ft Lauderdale lawyer as soon as possible.
What Does it Mean to Commit a Crime?
A lot of people think that conspiracy is the same as an attempt to commit a crime. However, while an attempt requires some type of act towards the commission of the crime, conspiracy just requires the oral agreement between two or more individuals. The penalties for a drug conspiracy are generally spelled out in Florida Statute. When talking about this type of charge, it should be the same with intent, as well.
The degree of charge or the penalty is usually one degree lower than the actual charge. If someone is charged with the sale of drugs and conspiracy to sell, the conspiracy charge would be one level below the sale. For example, if a person is charged with conspiracy to sell more than 25 pounds of marijuana or cannabis, that particular charge would be a second-degree felony, which is one level below the charge of the sale of 25 pounds or more, which would be a first-degree felony.
Proving Drug Conspiracy Offenses in Ft. Lauderdale
In Florida, someone can be charged with both conspiracy and a separate underlying offense. A conspiracy offense is when two or more individuals make an agreement to commit or carry out a crime, and it is the prosecutor’s role to prove this occurred. Common evidence used in drug conspiracy cases that a Ft. Lauderdale attorney will have to defend against include:
- Length, duration, and seriousness of an overheard conversation
- The relationship of the parties
- Any monetary discussions with respect to compensation or monies
Law enforcement tools and techniques for investigating drug conspiracy charges include working with confidential informants, general surveillance, anonymous tips, and things of that nature.
Generally, law enforcement would receive some type of tip or they would be working with a confidential informant that would utilize recording equipment or recording devices. With the aid of a confidential informant, they will capture somebody in what is called a sting operation or an undercover operation and usually get that agreement recorded. That would be the primary evidence of the conspiracy in these types of cases.
Evidence of Intent to Conspire
The more specific the evidence is with respect to the agreement for the commission of the future crime, the higher the level of the intent would be. For example, comparing, “Hey do you want to go sell some drugs together tomorrow?” versus coming up with an explicit plan. These plans typically include what two people are going to sell, who they are going to sell it to, how much they are going to sell it for, what time they are going to meet, any signals that are part of a prearranged plan and more. Ft Lauderdale drug conspiracy lawyers have seen courts will look at these elements to determine intent as it relates to this type of case.