Do I need a Lawyer when Charged with Criminal Conspiracy in Clearwater?
A charge of criminal conspiracy is very serious in Clearwater, Florida and the rest of the country, in general. It is a crime that occurs when at least two individuals agree to commit some type of illegal activity and move forward to commit it. While the action itself does not necessarily have to be a crime, the intention behind the activity on the part of all parties involved must be against the law. A person can even be convicted of criminal conspiracy if a crime was not actually committed.
What are the Elements of Criminal Conspiracy?
In general, there are three elements of criminal conspiracy. The prosecutor would only have to show that these three things exist:
- Two or more people agreed (conspired) to commit a certain crime. It could even simply mean that one person said they were going to commit a certain crime to another and the other person then stated that they would help them.
- All parties involved fully intended to commit the crime. Intention must exist in order to prove there was a conspiracy in place. However, the intention must be serious. If a person says they are going to commit a certain crime and the other person disputes it or does not agree to partake, it would not be considered conspiracy.
- Some action to further the plan must take place. If the parties obtain a weapon or weapons or a vehicle that can serve as a getaway car, that shows that there was an action to fulfill the criminal act.
For example, two men are talking. One tells the other he intends to hold up a convenience store to rob it of all the money in the cash register. The second man laughs and says he would like to be in on that.
They scope out the area and spy on the clerk working behind the counter and subsequently obtain guns in order to hold up the clerk. Even if the men never carry out the robbery itself, they can still be charged with criminal conspiracy.
Penalties for Criminal Conspiracy in Florida
If a person is charged and convicted of criminal conspiracy is Clearwater, Florida, there are varying penalties they can receive depending on the degree of the crime. They include the following:
- Second degree misdemeanor: Criminal conspiracy in the second degree as a misdemeanor includes a maximum of 60 days in jail, a six-month probation and a fine of up to $500.
- First degree misdemeanor: Criminal conspiracy in the first degree as a misdemeanor carries penalties that include up to one year in jail, one year of probation and a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Third degree felony: Criminal conspiracy in the third degree as a felony charge includes a maximum of five years in prison, up to five years of probation and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Second degree felony: Criminal conspiracy in the second degree as a felony charge carries penalties including a maximum of 15 years in prison, a possible 15-year probation and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- First degree felony: Criminal conspiracy in the first degree as a felony is the most serious charge. It includes penalties of up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation and a fine o up to $10,000.
Considering the severity of the charges you could receive for criminal conspiracy, it is always important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are arrested and charged with this crime in Florida, contact William Hanlon Clearwater criminal lawyer immediately to discuss your case. The only way to get the charges against you reduced or potentially even dropped is to consult with a skilled attorney as soon as possible.