Criminal conspiracy is a scary-sounding charge, and with good reason. Prosecutors often add conspiracy to another crime to increase the length of a potential prison sentence upon conviction. Prosecutors want as much leverage as possible when negotiating plea bargains, and a conspiracy charge is a bargaining chip.
People facing conspiracy charges should seek an experienced criminal Lawyer to help them. If the Prosecutor does not have the requisite evidence to make a conspiracy charge stick, a skilled Attorney at Leifert & Leifert could leverage their years of experience to take advantage of a weak accusation. If the case eventually goes to trial, there are many important technicalities involved in defending conspiracy charges. Speak with a Loxahatchee conspiracy Lawyer to learn more about building a defense.
What is a Conspiracy?
According to the Florida Statutes, Title XLVI, § 777.04, criminal conspiracy means agreeing with another person to commit a specific crime. It does not matter if the people who planned the crime are not the ones who attempt to carry it out. Two people could be charged with conspiracy even if someone else, acting at the conspirator’s direction, committed the crime the conspirators planned. It is also not necessary that the crime actually take place; the planning constitutes the conspiracy.
To prove conspiracy, the Prosecutor must show that there was an actual agreement between two or more people to commit an unlawful act.. If a person tags along when they know that someone else is going to commit a crime, that fact alone might not support a conspiracy charge. Both parties must agree that they will commit a crime or induce someone else to commit a crime.
Second, the Prosecutors must show the intent to commit a crime. If two people agree to load some tools into a truck and drive them away, but only one of them knows that the tools are stolen, there is no conspiracy. Proving conspiracy requires the Prosecutor to show that two or more of the defendants intended to commit a crime.
Defending Conspiracy Charges
There are multiple defenses a skilled defense Lawyer could present to help the client avoid a conspiracy conviction. While the Prosecutor will be trying to show that the client made an agreement with someone else to commit a specific crime, the defense Lawyer will be presenting arguments that offer alternative explanations.
There are many facts that the Lawyer could present to defeat the idea that the client agreed with someone else to commit a crime. Perhaps they had a conversation but never reached an agreement. Perhaps they differed about what crime they intended to commit. Depending on the facts, a defense Lawyer might argue that although the client was present there was no conspiracy, or the client’s involvement was limited to helping the perpetrator carry out the crime, but the client had no hand in planning it. An experienced Legal Professional could work with the facts of almost any situation to craft a plausible defense.
Consequences of a Conspiracy Conviction
Conspiracy is a stand-alone crime. If two people plan to commit a robbery, they could face conspiracy charges even if the robbery never happens.
However, the punishment associated with a conspiracy conviction depends on the seriousness of the crime the conspirators planned to commit. Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code ranks crimes on their severity, characterizing them as Level 1 through Level 10, with Level 1 being the least severe and Level 10 being the most severe (and carrying the harshest sentence). If the crime a conspirator planned is a Level 7 crime, the conspiracy will carry punishment equivalent to a Level 6 crime.
A Loxahatchee Conspiracy Attorney Could Make a Big Difference
Being arrested for a crime is the beginning of a difficult process. However, conspiracy crimes have technical issues the Prosecutors must confront while meeting their burden of proving the case. A defense Lawyer at the top of their game will not make it easy for them.
Bringing a skilled criminal defense Attorney onto your team ensures that the Prosecutor will not get a pass on any issue. Call today to talk to a Loxahatchee conspiracy Lawyer who could help you prepare a winning defense.