The state of Florida views conspiracy as an express or implied agreement between two parties with the intent to commit a crime. Conspiracy charges are often assessed as an additional charge against defendants who are charged with serious felonious crimes, especially those that involve drugs. Though the burden of proof for a conspiracy conviction lies on the prosecution, these charges are always best addressed with the help of an attorney experienced in defending drug crimes.
To obtain and sustain a conspiracy conviction, the prosecution must prove two elements beyond a reasonable doubt. First, they must prove that the defendant had intent that a crime was to be committed. Therefore, there must be concrete evidence which proves voluntary involvement in the planning and proposed execution. Just because a party was present during a discussion between other parties about committing a crime does not prove that party’s participation. Second, it must be proved that the defendant conspired with a second party to carry out the commission of the crime.
Section 777.04 of Florida Statute deems that a conspiracy conviction be sentenced as one degree below the ranking of the crime the Defendant intended to commit. For example, if a Defendant conspired to commit a crime which would carry a Level 5 Offense Severity ranking, then the conspiracy conviction would be sentenced as a Level 4 Offense Severity ranking.
Conspiracy to commit a crime is a complex charge. Consult with an attorney who has experience in defending drug crimes. He or she can help you build an effective defense to fight such a conviction.