You may be sitting around talking with your friend or friends. You all agree to sell a certain amount of a controlled substance. Under Florida law, you have just committed the criminal offense of conspiracy. In real life, state prosecutors likely will wait until one of you has done something to further the conspiracy. Such an act is required under federal law, but under Florida state law, the simple agreement to commit the offense subjects you to being charged with conspiracy. You can be charged with conspiracy to commit any criminal offense, but it is most often charged in relation to drug offenses.
How it Works
If you agreed to commit the offense, you may be surprised one day to have law enforcement knocking on your door with an arrest warrant charging you with conspiracy. One of your conspiracy pals may have sold drugs and you are charged as being a conspirator. The prosecutor only has to prove:
- You agreed with one or more people to commit a specific offense. In this example, the agreement would be to sell a certain amount of a controlled substance.
- You fully intended for the offense to be committed.
You can be charged with conspiracy even if you never sold any drugs at all. The penalties for a conspiracy conviction are the same as though you had committed the actual offense. Since penalties for conspiracy under both state and federal law depend on the amount of drugs that the conspirators expected to sell, if you agreed to sell 20 kilos, that is what your sentence will be based on even if no drug was ever sold. The prosecutor only needs to prove that is the amount you intended to sell.
Defenses to Conspiracy
Prosecutors seem to charge suspected offenders with conspiracy whenever possible. An experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer will explore with you possible legal defenses. Some possibilities include, but are not limited to:
- You did not agree to sell drugs. You were just shooting the breeze and had no intention of committing the underlying offense.
- You changed your mind after the agreement and completely renounced your desire to be involved.
- You changed your mind and tried to convince the others to not commit the actual offense.
If you are charged with a criminal conspiracy, contact us at the Law Office of James Davis, P.A. where you will find a Jacksonville defense lawyer with the experience and dedication you need to defend you and work diligently for you to obtain the best possible outcome.