Coral Gables Conspiracy Attorney
Facing conspiracy charges can be frightening and confusing. The law regarding criminal conspiracy in Florida is complex and can apply to a variety of situations with many different potential penalties. Each case is unique, so you always want a Coral Gables conspiracy attorney on your side who knows how to evaluate your situation and build a strong and effective defense based on your individual circumstances.
What is conspiracy?
Simply put, a criminal conspiracy is an agreement between at least two individuals to commit some type of criminal offense. Though some people may believe that conspiracy is only charged with regard to serious felony offenses, it can apply to any type of criminal offense under Florida law.
In order to convict you of criminal conspiracy, a prosecutor must prove the following elements:
- You intended that a criminal offense would be committed; and
- In line with that intent, you conspired, agreed, confederated, or combined forces with at least one other individual.
The plan does not have to involve you as the actual criminal offender, as you may be charged with conspiracy if another person was the one planning to actual carry out the physical act. For instance, if a “mastermind” comes up with a plan and a second individual agrees to carry out the plan, both can be charged with conspiracy.
Possible consequences of conspiracy convictions
The penalties for conspiracy convictions can vary widely depending on the type of criminal act that was allegedly intended. For example, the consequences of a conspiracy to commit a murder will be substantially more severe than for a conspiracy to shoplift. However, all conspiracy convictions can result in fines, probation, and/or prison sentences.
Additionally, all members of a conspiracy may face further charges and penalties if any member had already committed any type of offense to further the ultimate goals of the conspiracy. If a group conspires to rob a bank and one member unlawfully purchases a firearm to be used during the robbery, all individuals involved in the agreement can face firearm charges and penalties even if they did not actively know that the firearm was purchased.
Conspiracy to Import Drugs
The United States Controlled Substances Import and Export Act makes it unlawful for anyone to import any type of controlled substance into the United States for purposes of distribution or sale. The law also prohibits conspiring to import drugs, and an individual could be facing drug conspiracy charges even if the actual importation never occurred. Drug charges under federal conspiracy laws are often aggressively prosecuted and can carry severe penalties, since the law considers a group of people working together more dangerous than a single isolated offender. Federal prosecutors often target drug rings or other groups of people cooperating to traffic drugs and can charge everyone they believe to be involved with conspiracy as well as any completed offenses and any foreseeable offenses committed by any other member of the conspiracy.
Anyone facing such charges should consult with a criminal defense attorney who knows how to defend federal drug charges as soon as possible. These cases can be complicated and involve many different types of evidence, so you always want an attorney who has a thorough understanding of conspiracy cases.
Elements of conspiracy crimes
In order to convict you of conspiracy to import drugs, a prosecutor is required to present sufficient evidence to prove that you agreed with at least one other person to commit a criminal offense–in this case, to import drugs into the U.S. You are not required to be aware of the identities of others in the conspiracy to be found guilty and you do not have to actually import the controlled substance to face conspiracy charges. There are many legal defenses possible in conspiracy cases to disprove one or more elements of the charge and an experienced lawyer will know how to identify which defenses may work in your case.
Penalties of conspiracy to import
The penalties for conspiracy to import depend upon the type and amount of controlled substance in question. For example:
|Type and Amount
|Heroin – Less than 100 grams | Cocaine – Less than 500 grams | Ecgonine – Less than 500 grams
|Up to 20 years
|Up to $5 million
|Heroin – 100 to 999 grams | Cocaine – 500 to 4999 grams | Ecgonine – 500 to 4999 grams
|5 to 40 years
|Up to $25 million
|Heroin – 1 kilogram or more | Cocaine – 5 kilograms or more | Ecgonine – 5 Kilograms or more
|10 years to a life sentence
|Up to $50 million
These penalties only increase if you have any prior drug convictions or if the importation or any other offenses actually took place.
Defenses to conspiracy
Conspiracy requires that at least two people agree to actually commit the crime and intend to commit the crime. Therefore, if you or another person only pretended to agree, that false agreement does not constitute a conspiracy since only one individual had true criminal intentions. For this reason, a common defense to conspiracy is the lack of genuine intent to go through with the plan. Furthermore, you should not be held liable for any offenses if you sufficiently withdrew from the conspiracy and informed law enforcement or took other action to effectively stop further crimes from occurring. These are only two of many legal defenses available to defendants facing conspiracy charges and an experienced attorney can determine which defenses apply to your particular case.
Call an experienced Coral Gables conspiracy defense attorney today
If you are facing allegations of conspiracy, your first call should be to Coral Gables conspiracy attorney Alfredo A. Izaguirre. Our office knows how to successfully defend individuals charged with conspiracy in the Miami and Coral Gables areas, so please call for a free consultation at 305-442-0425 today.