Conspiracy Crimes In The State Of Florida
When it comes to “conspiracies,” the details of the law can be complex. Many people assume they understand what a conspiracy crime is, but the truth is that many have inaccurate information. For example, some people think that a target criminal act must have occurred for a person to be charged or convicted of a conspiracy crime. This is inaccurate. Conspiracy is an inchoate offense. Inchoate crimes are crimes that don’t require the full completion of the intended criminal act (target crime). Other examples of inchoate crimes include “attempt” and “solicitation.” It is important to note that, when it comes to conspiracy, if a person is prosecuted for the target crime, both the crime itself and the conspiracy to commit a crime may be charged.
Conspiracy Crimes Under Florida Law
In Florida, conspiracy crimes are codified under Section 777.04(3). According to Florida law, when an individual conspires, confederates, combines, or agrees with another person(s) to carry out an offense, they commit the offense of criminal conspiracy.
For you to be convicted of a conspiracy crime, the prosecution must prove that;
- you intended to commit a particular crime
- an agreement existed between you and at least one additional person to carry out a crime
Generally, for a prosecutor to sustain a conviction for the crime of conspiracy, they must prove both the intent to commit a crime and the agreement.
Acts in Furtherance of Conspiracy
A substantial step must have been taken to further the target crime for a person to be convicted of conspiracy in most states. However, this is not the case in Florida. Under Florida law, for you to be convicted of the crime of conspiracy, the prosecution does not need to prove that you committed any action in furtherance of the intended crime. Intent and an agreement between you and another individual or other individuals are enough for a prosecutor to secure a conviction.
Is Conspiracy a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
In Florida, conspiracy is a derivative crime. This means that the level of severity of a conspiracy crime depends on the level of severity of the target crime. In Florida, conspiracy crimes are ranked one level below the severity ranking of the target offense. If the criminal conspiracy is of a crime ranked in level 1 or level 2 under F.S.S. 921.0022 or F.S.S. 921.0023, such conspiracy offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. On the other hand, a criminal conspiracy offense is a felony of the first degree if the crime conspired is a capital felony. Also, if the offense is a first-degree or a life felony, the offense of criminal conspiracy is a second-degree felony.
Since conspiracy is a derivative crime, the penalties you face for a conspiracy crime will depend on the target crime. With that said, penalties for conspiracy crimes in Florida range from no jail time (in the case of a conspiracy that relates to a low-level offense) to 30 or more years in prison in the case of serious target crimes.
Allow Joyce A. Julian P.A. To Help You
If you have been arrested and charged with conspiracy in Florida, contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney at the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A., today to get help.