Understanding Florida “Conspiracy” Charges

Conspiracy is a word that immediately grabs the attention of anyone who hears it. For most people it conjures images of little green men at Roswell and crazy theories about shadow governments. Many people are surprised to learn that, in terms of criminal law, conspiracy actually refers to a serious and not uncommon crime.

“Conspiracy” is defined as an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime. The essence of the crime is the agreement, not the actual commission of the crime. The agreement can either be explicitly stated or simply implied, and no actual attempt to commit the crime is necessary—merely the plan to do so, even if it was abandoned.

Conspiracy has often been referred to a “the prosecutor’s darling” because proving the charge can be much easier than proving the commission of the actual crime. In order for a conspiracy charge to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, the law decrees that the prosecution must prove that 1) two or more persons agreed to commit some unlawful act, 2) the defendant knew the unlawful purpose of the plan and willfully joined it, 3) So, for example, if an individual were to say to another individual, “Let’s meet after work and counterfeit bills” and the second individual were to say, “Yes, I’m in. See you at 5pm,” then the two parties would have technically entered into a conspiracy and could be charged with conspiracy to counterfeit US currency.

While some states require the prosecution to also demonstrate that the defendants took some sort of overt step to further their plans, Florida is not one of them.

It is also important to note that in Florida, the punishment for a conspiracy conviction will generally be charged one level below the punishment for actually committing the crime that was planned. So if the crime the culprits agreed to commit qualified as a Level 5 offense, the conspiracy to commit that crime would be considered a Level 4 offense. If the crime was both planned and carried out, the punishment for conspiracy charges would be on top of punishment for actually committing the criminal act.

If you are facing a conspiracy conviction, it is essential that you enlist the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney. There are numerous nuances and complexities when it comes to conspiracy charges, and a knowledgeable attorney can help ensure your rights are appropriately protected. Contact the law office of Barry M. Wax today to learn how we can help.

Written by Law Offices of Barry M. Wax

Law Offices of Barry M. Wax

For 32 years, I have provided both State- and Federal-Level representation for those facing charges ranging from wire fraud, mortgage fraud, and healthcare fraud to identity theft, drug trafficking, money laundering, murder, DUI, domestic violence and numerous other criminal charges. In every case, it is my commitment to one-on-one service and support that has separated the Law Offices of Barry M. Wax from other criminal defense firms. When it comes to your future, you need a strong defense and the ability to make the right choices and regain control of your life.