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Wed Jan 10, 2018, 08:18 PM


Conspiracy -- explanations from various sources.

Well, there are basically 5 elements for the crime of Conspiracy. Those elements are: 1. You must have 2 or more persons who 2. Intentionally 3. make an agreement 4. to violate federal law or defraud the United states, and then 5. Commit some overt act in furtherance of the agreement. Based on these elements, we know that the crime of Conspiracy is a specific- intent crime. In other words Michelle, the government must prove that these 2 or more persons intentionally entered into an agreement to commit some criminal offense. This means that in proving that there are two (2) or more person involved, undercover officers and confidential informants would not count because they would not have the requisite criminal intent. Also, the overt act done in furtherance of the agreement must occur AFTER the agreement has been reached.

M. So, anytime 2 or more people are involved in a crime, there’s a Conspiracy?

J. Well, only if the government can prove that those involved entered into some agreement to commit the crime and that there was some overt act committed after the agreement was reached to help it succeed. Many times this “agreement” will be proven by circumstantial evidence. For example, if it can be shown that a participant is receiving some direct benefit from the illegal activity, this is a good indication that the person is a part of the Conspiracy. In addition, the overt act that follows the agreement doesn’t necessarily have to be an illegal act. It just has to be some act that demonstrates that the agreement is now being acted upon.


If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 701; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)


Also see 18 United States Code (USC) 2

Just to give a very skimpy understanding about how conspiracy is defined and what conduct might be viewed as a conspiracy in the law.
This is very incomplete. Really sketchy but basic.

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