In Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, South Florida criminal prosecutors almost always file conspiracy charges with all drug trafficking cases. It is a lazy prosecutor’s method to seek a criminal conviction under two theories: drug trafficking and an agreement to traffic in drugs. One does not need to complete the crime to be convicted of conspiracy. Proving drug trafficking requires proving the elements of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance of a weight sufficient to file drug trafficking charges. Proving a conspiracy is in many ways easier.
A conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance such as cocaine or marijuana requires the prosecutor prove an agreement in which each member of the conspiracy becomes the agent of each and every other member. The most essential part of the conspiracy offense is the making of the agreement. The next element is an overt act: which means during the life of the agreement each criminal defendant must take one overt act to advance the criminal undertaking. The conspiracy can be proven with statements from co-conspirators only if they are made during and in the course of the conspiracy. Once the conspiracy ends, either by the withdrawal of a participant, or the completion of the criminal enterprise, the conspiracy ends. Conspiracy, to summarize; requires that two or more persons come to an understanding, that the participants are voluntarily entering into a criminal enterprise, that there is an act, an overt act, to advance the crime. Lastly that the act was knowingly done to carry out the objective of the conspiracy. For more information on criminal conspiracy in South Florida, contact a South Florida criminal defense attorney for a consultation.