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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / What Is Conspiracy To Commit A Drug Offense?

What Is Conspiracy To Commit A Drug Offense?


Normally, in order to try a person for a crime, they must have allegedly committed the offense in question. There are only a handful of exceptions to this dictum, and one of them is the offense of conspiracy. Conspiracy is one of the crimes known as “inchoate offenses,” which means that they are incomplete but actionable. If you have been charged with conspiracy to commit a drug offense, you may think the charge is less significant than a drug crime – but it should be taken just as seriously.

“Incomplete” Offenses

Conspiracy, like solicitation or attempt, is a crime whose steps are essentially ‘planning and preparing to commit another crime.’ It is somewhat unique in that it can be charged alongside the actual offense – for example, a person can be charged with both conspiracy to commit drug trafficking and with drug trafficking itself. While a person can be convicted of both offenses, it is more common for a state’s attorney to use a conspiracy charge as a cudgel of sorts to compel a person to confess to the underlying crime.

Conspiracy only has two criteria, and is thus (at least in theory) easy for a state’s attorney to establish. Two or more people must be involved, and there must have been some kind of agreement to carry out a crime. If no other person was involved in your alleged offense, of course, no conspiracy charge may be possible – but if the facts permit, it is likely that you will be charged with this as well as your underlying offense.

Sentences Are Severe

One of the most important things to be aware of when dealing with a conspiracy offense is that in other states, there is a third criteria that must be established in order to find a person guilty: proof of what is known as a “substantial step” in furtherance of the conspiracy. In Florida, mere proof of an agreement being made is enough – in other words, a person can agree to help engage in a drug crime, never take any step to do so, and face charges regardless.

If you are convicted of a conspiracy offense in Florida, know that in general, the penalty will be one degree below the sentence for the completed offense. For example, trafficking in fentanyl is a first-degree felony. Conspiracy to traffic in fentanyl would thus be a second-degree felony, and would be sentenced accordingly. However, there are defenses that a good attorney can raise that may help to prevent a conviction.

Contact A West Palm Beach Drug Offenses Attorney

Florida’s drug laws are quite strict, and sentences are harsh. If you have been charged with conspiracy to commit a drug offense, a West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. may help to protect your rights in court. Contact our office today at (561) 721-0552 to speak to an attorney.



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