Conspiracy is when two parties agree to participate in an unlawful act, and take action towards its completion. The action does not need to be completed to be considered conspiracy. If the two parties take any steps in their plan to break the law then it is considered conspiracy. For example, if Bob and Suzy decide to rob their local department store, they could 1) Scout out the store beforehand 2) Gather supplies to complete the robbery 3) Plan a meeting place; but all of these would be considered conspiracy to commit robbery and they could be charged even if the robbery never took place. 

Agreement Requirement

In order for conspiracy to be present, some form of agreement between the two parties is required. Bob does not need to verbally tell Suzy that they are planning to rob the bank together in order for it to be considered conspiracy. If Bob and Suzy take any steps toward completing the robbery, it will be considered an agreement to commit a crime. For example, if the court can find instances where Bob and Suzy's negotiated plans at a meeting, or made similar transactions, that would be considered a nonverbal agreement to conspire. The court does need evidence to prove that both parties were involved or were aware that an agreement between them had been made.

Intent

In the area of conspiracy, intent means everything. Both parties need to be in agreement about their intention to move forward and complete their plan. For example, if you overhear your roommate is about to commit a crime in a nearby neighborhood, you would not be considered a conspirator unless you offered to be his getaway driver or scope out the neighborhood beforehand. 

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Wheel and Chain Conspiracies

  •  Wheel Conspiracy- When a single member or ringleader participates in illegal dealings with individual members. The ringleader would be considered the hub and his parties that maintain an individual relationship with him would be considered spokes. 
  • Chain Conspiracy- When parties are linked together in a linear fashion. Each member performs a task in the completion of an illegal act even if they are not personally acquainted with every member in the chain. 

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