What Is The Law On Conspiracy In Florida And What Are The Punishments for It?
According to Florida law, an act of a conspiracy is an implied or an express agreement between a minimum of two persons to commit a crime with the intention of actually committing the offense. While a conspiracy can relate to a criminal offense, which has been agreed-upon, their projections are most frequently used for severe felonies.
The statutes of the state have codified the criminal offense of conspiracy and refer to a conspirator as an individual who confederates, combines, conspires, or agrees with another individual or people to commit a criminal offense, and commits an act of criminal conspiracy in Florida.
In order to establish the occurrence of the offense of conspiracy in the court, it is imperative for the prosecution to establish the two elements mentioned below beyond any kind of reasonable doubt:1. The defendant had the intention that the criminal offense such as drug trafficking would be committed, as well as,
2. The defendant confederated, combined, or agreed with another individual to execute the intent in order to cause the conspiracy to be committed by anyone of them, by someone else, or by either of the two persons.
Intent and Agreement Required
In order to ensure that the defendant is convicted for conspiracy in the state of Florida, it is necessary for the prosecution to prove that there were the actual intent and the agreement for committing a crime.
Activities to Further Conspiracy in Florida
It is not essential to demonstrate that the defendant acted to further conspiracy for constituting a conspiracy under the laws of Florida. Rather, the intent and the agreement are adequate for criminal liability.
What are the Defenses to Conspiracy in Florida?
A defendant can avail several factual and legal defenses to contest the conspiracy charges against him/her. Following are some of those most common defenses mentioned below:
Insufficient or No Evidence of the Agreement
A conspiracy conviction will not sustain in Florida in the absence of sufficient evidence of an agreement. The laws in Florida do not need the prosecution to prove the existence of an agreement through direct evidence like an eyewitness testimony or a writing testimony. While Florida considers the presence of circumstantial evidence, the evidence submitted during the trial has to be inconsistent with all reasonable hypotheses to prove the defendant’s innocence.
Merely being present at the Scene is Not Sufficient
Just being present where the criminal offense occurred is not adequate to prove a conspiracy theory in Florida.
Abetting and Aiding are Inadequate
The trial cannot infer the occurrence of a conspiracy only from abetting and aiding.
Punishment for Conspiracy in Florida:
In case of the conviction of a criminal conspiracy of a first-degree felony, a judge can issue a sentence of downward departure, as well as any combination of the penalties listed below:1. A maximum fine of 10,000 USD
2. A maximum probation period of 30 years
3. A maximum jail term of 30 years
In case the criminal conspiracy is classified as a 2nd-degree felony, it is assigned a severity ranking of a level below than the ranking, which the underlying crime would be assigned according to the Criminal Punishment Code of Florida and can also be penalized by the combination of the punishments listed below:1. A maximum fine of 10,000 USD
2. A maximum probation period of 15 years
3. A maximum jail term of 15 years
The 3rd-degree felony conspiracy takes place when the underlying criminal offense to be committed has been identified as a 3rd-degree felony or a second-degree felony.
In case the defendant is convicted of this conspiracy, the court can punish through a combination of the penalties listed below:1. A maximum fine of 5,000 USD
2. A maximum probation period of 5 years
3. A maximum jail term of 5 years