What is Criminal Conspiracy in Florida?
Conspiracy is one of the most mysterious and misunderstood charges in criminal law. In Florida, conspiracy is not a charge on its own. Conspiracy must be attached to another crime such as murder, trafficking, or robbery.
If it's not a crime on its own, then what is the significance of charging someone with conspiracy? Conspiracy is used in much the same way attempt or accessory charges are. Conspiracy is used to charge someone with a crime when they were not necessarily the ones that committed the crime.
Conspiracy means an agreement between two or more individuals to perpetrate some criminal act. A good example is often portrayed on television programs and even in the news when a mob boss is charged with conspiracy to commit murder or conspiracy to commit fraud. In this example, the government is charging the mob boss, who has others actually do his bidding, with conspiracy because the mob boss gave the order to commit the crime. In other words, there was an agreement by the mob boss and his goons to commit murder or fraud. The government cannot simply charge the mob boss with murder because he did not actually kill the person, so the charge is conspiracy.
A simple agreement or talking about committing a crime is not conspiracy. There must be some substantial step in the completion of the planned criminal act. Whether this is purchasing a gun, contracting with a killer, getting the money for the drugs, or whatever appropriate step must be taken in the specific circumstance.
A defense to conspiracy is abandonment of the plan. This must be a complete abandonment and not abandonment because of interference by law enforcement.
For more information about conspiracy or discuss your criminal case, please call Soler & Simon at (941) 444-5128.