Florida Statute 784.03 defines Conspiracy as when a person agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates with another person or persons to commit any criminal offense. Conspiracy may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the criminal offense the co-conspirators have been charged with.
To be charged with conspiracy, an individual does not have to have taken part in the commission of the criminal act. Conspiracy is a separate crime, and may even be charged if after becoming aware of the criminal offense occurring.
Prosecutors will often try to gain or manipulate information in order to seek conspiracy charges. If conspiracy charges are proven it opens the door for statements of co-conspirators can be used as evidence. This is a tactic often used to attempt to get around the hearsay rules that are intended to protect the rights of the accused.
One of the problems with this scenario is that in order to get alleged co-conspirators to talk, prosecutors will often extend a plea deal to those who give them incriminating evidence that will give the prosecution an advantage in convicting those who do not talk. It is not uncommon for a co-conspirator to intentionally provide false or misleading information in an effort to get the best possible plea deal.
When a person becomes aware of details and persons involved in the criminal act after the crime has been committed, and chooses to hide evidence, intentionally mislead or lie to law enforcement about their knowledge of the crime, or profit as a result of their knowledge and silence regarding the crime which has been committed, they may be charged with "Accessory After The Fact".
There are varying types of "Accessory After The Fact" depending upon the particular crime committed. there are also limitations of Accessory After The Fact depending on the relationship of you and the one who is accused of committing a criminal act (relation of husband or wife, parent or grandparent, child or grandchild, brother or sister).
The Law Offices of
John Gillespie: 386.308.1035
Tracey Kagan: 386.337.5445