Conspiracy to Commit a Violent Crime

St. Petersburg Lawyers Defending Clients Against Felony Charges

It is illegal in Florida to plan or conspire with another person to commit a crime. Prosecutors may file charges for criminal conspiracy even if the underlying crime did not actually occur, and the potential penalties for a conspiracy conviction may be nearly as severe as the subject offense. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg criminal defense attorneys can assist individuals who have been charged with conspiracy to commit a violent crime, such as robbery, aggravated assault, or rape. If we can expose potential weaknesses in the evidence, the prosecution may find it difficult to prove conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt.

Conspiracy to Commit a Violent Crime in Florida

Under Florida law, the offense of criminal conspiracy occurs when a person agrees, combines, or conspires with one or more individuals to commit any crime. Conspiracy is a separate and distinct crime from the offense that the conspirators intend to carry out. As such, a person may be guilty of conspiracy even when the underlying crime was never committed. Conspiracy to commit a violent crime may be charged when the defendant is accused of conspiring with another person to commit a violent crime. Violent crimes include sexual battery, burglary, kidnapping, manslaughter, arson, and numerous other offenses involving the use of force. A majority of Florida violent crimes are felony offenses.

To prove a charge of conspiracy to commit a violent crime, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to commit a violent crime, and that, in order to carry out the intent, the defendant agreed, conspired, combined, or confederated with another person to cause the offense to be committed either by them, by one of them, or by some other individual. A conspiracy does not need to be expressed in any particular words, nor is it required that any words at all pass between the conspirators. Moreover, criminal conspiracy may be committed without any of the conspirators taking steps to carry out the offense that is the subject of the conspiracy. The agreement and intent to carry out a crime are enough to establish criminal conspiracy. It is also important to note that in Florida, a person may be convicted of conspiracy even if their alleged co-conspirators were acquitted of the charge or were never arrested.

Defenses to an Alleged Conspiracy Offense

Mounting a defense to a conspiracy charge involves a thorough review of the evidence in the case. If the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to establish the defendant’s intent, for instance, they may not be able to prove a conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, Florida law allows certain affirmative defenses that, if applicable, may defeat a charge of conspiracy. For example, it is a defense to criminal conspiracy that the defendant abandoned their attempt to commit the underlying crime or otherwise prevented its commission. Defendants may also assert that after conspiring with others to commit a crime, they persuaded them not to commit the crime or prevented the crime from occurring. Generally, the circumstances must demonstrate that the defendant completely and voluntarily renounced their criminal purpose for the defenses to apply. A criminal defense lawyer can provide further information and advice on the possible defenses that may be available in a specific criminal conspiracy case.

Hire a St. Petersburg Attorney to Defend Against Conspiracy Charges

If you have been accused of conspiracy to commit an assault, battery or other violent crime, protect your rights by seeking experienced legal representation. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., we work tirelessly to defend our clients from criminal charges in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay and Clearwater and throughout Pinellas County. To meet with one of our skilled defense lawyers, call (727) 286-6141 or contact us online and request a free consultation.

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