Tampa Conspiracies Lawyer
Engaging in conspiracy is illegal in the United States, and can result in severe penalties in the event of a criminal conviction. What’s more, conspiracy is a federal crime, which means that it is particularly serious and aggressively penalized. At the law office of Trombley & Hanes, our Tampa conspiracies lawyer can provide qualified legal representation if you are facing conspiracy charges in our state. To learn more, please reach out to our law firm directly as soon as possible after being charged with the crime.
What Is Conspiracy?
Under Florida law, found in the Florida Statutes Chapter 777, a person commits the crime of conspiracy when:
“A person who agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates with another person or persons to commit any offense commits the offense of criminal conspiracy, ranked for purposes of sentencing as provided in subsection (4).”
Under federal law, “conspiracy to commit offense or defraud United States” is found in 18 U.S. Code Section 371, which is defined as two or more people conspiring together to commit any offense against the U.S., or defraud the U.S.
How Does the Prosecution Secure a Conspiracies Conviction?
In order for the prosecution to secure a conspiracy conviction, there are a few elements of the crime that the prosecution must be able to prove. For example, the prosecution will need to prove:
- Agreement between parties. Conspiracy cannot occur unless two or more parties agree to commit a crime. As such, the prosecution will need to prove that some sort of agreement existed between the parties.
- Many crimes require the prosecution to prove that the defendant actually had intent to commit the crime. In this case, the prosecution will need to prove that the defendant actually had intent to commit the crime associated with the conspiracy charges, whether or not they actually committed it.
- Overt act. Finally, merely talking about committing a crime isn’t illegal, and penalizing someone for this would be unfair. As such, there needs to be concrete proof that an overt action was taken in furtherance of the intent to commit a crime, such as purchasing materials that would be necessary for the crime.
Penalties for Conspiracy
Federal conspiracy law reads that a person found guilty of conspiracy shall be fined, imprisoned for up to five years, or both. Under state law, penalties vary depending on how the conspiracy charge is ranked. According to statute, a conspiracy charge will be ranked one level below the ranking of the offense that would have been (or was) committed due to conspiracy.
Call Our Tampa Conspiracy Lawyer
If you are charged with state or federal conspiracy charges, hiring a reputable Tampa conspiracy lawyer as soon as possible is strongly recommended. We have years of experience and understand the seriousness of conspiracy charges. Reach out to our law firm directly today to learn more about your legal options and how we can help. We are available online or by phone.
Frequently Asked Questions for Tampa Conspiracy
How are Federal Conspiracy Charges Different from Other Criminal Charges?
Conspiracy charges focus on the agreement itself, whereas other criminal charges address the actual completion of the crime, making them distinct from the underlying crime that the individuals conspired to commit.
Can I Be Charged with Conspiracy if a Crime Was Not Committed?
Yes. Even if the actual crime is not committed, individuals may be charged with conspiracy if there is an agreement and an overt act to further the conspiracy.
Can I Be Charged with Both Conspiracy and the Underlying Crime?
Yes. The government may pursue conspiracy charges when they believe there was an agreement to commit the crime, even if it was not completed.
Can I Be Charged with Conspiracy Based Solely on The Testimony of a Co-Conspirator?
Yes. Although, the government must present sufficient evidence to prove the existence of the conspiracy and the defendant’s participation.
What are Some Common Defenses Against Federal Conspiracy Charges?
All federal conspiracy cases are unique and require a thorough review before a customized legal strategy can be developed and implemented based on the facts of the case. However, some common defenses against federal conspiracy charges may include lack of knowledge of the conspiracy, lack of intent to participate, withdrawal from the conspiracy before any overt act occurred, and lack of an agreement between alleged co-conspirators.
Do All Alleged Co-Conspirators Have to Be Charged with Conspiracy to Pursue a Case Against One Party?
No. It is optional for all co-conspirators to be charged for the conspiracy for the prosecution to move forward their case against one party. The government may charge only an individual involved in the conspiracy if they can prove the existence of collaboration and the involvement of the person accused.
What are the Penalties for Federal Conspiracy Convictions?
The penalties for federal conspiracy convictions vary depending on the underlying crime and the specific statutes involved but may include imprisonment, fines, probation, or a combination.
Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney if I am Being Investigated or Charged with Federal Conspiracy?
Yes. You must understand the severity of conspiracy charges, so you know how to protect yourself even at the beginning of an investigation. If you are being investigated or charged with federal conspiracy, contact our dedicated conspiracies defense attorneys in Tampa today to learn more about the legal process, protect your rights, and develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your case.