con·spir·a·cy /kən-'spir-ə-sē/ n pl -cies [Latin conspiratio, from conspirare to conspire see conspire]
1: an agreement between two or more people to commit an act prohibited by law or to commit a lawful act by means prohibited by law; also: the crime or tort of participating in a conspiracy compare substantive crime
◇ Some states require an overt act in addition to the agreement to constitute conspiracy.
chain conspiracy: a conspiracy in which the conspirators act separately and successively (as in distributing narcotics)
civil conspiracy: a conspiracy that is not prosecuted as a crime but that forms the grounds for a lawsuit
criminal conspiracy: a conspiracy prosecuted as a crime
2: a group of conspirators

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun abetment, agreement to accomplish an unlawful end, agreement to commit a crime, coalescence, coalition, collusion, combination, combined operation, compact, compliance, complicity, composition, concert, confederacy, coniuratio, connivance, contrivance, corrupt agreement, countermine, counterplot, duplicitous agreement, intrigue, intnguery, joint effort, joint planning, maneuvering, plan, plot, proposal, scheme, treasonable alliance, underplot, unlawful combination, unlawful contrivance, unlawful plan, unlawful scheme associated concepts: conspiracy in restraint of interstate trade, conspiracy in restraint of trade, conspiracy to commit felony, conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy within the Sherman Anti-trust Act, continuing conspiracy, entered into a conspiracy, furtherance of the conspiracy, overt act II index cabal, collusion, connivance, faction, frame up, machination, plan, plot (secret plan), racket

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

Two or more people who join together to plan and commit an unlawful act.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

1. the delict or tort of agreeing with others to cause damage to another by committing a lawful act by unlawful means or committing an unlawful act. Its scope is not determined, and the courts are at pains to exclude legitimate business agreements from its scope. trade unions have immuny from action in many instances. Despite the fact that the effect of the tort is to allow two people to be made liable for an act that, if done by one, would not be actionable, the courts have allowed it to develop. See Crofter Co. Ltd v . Veitch [1942] AC 435.
2. a statutory offence in England under the Criminal Law Act 1977 as amended. It is committed by an agreement to a course of conduct that, if carried out, will necessarily involve the commission of an offence, or would do but for the impossibility of committing the planned offence. See R v. Cooke [1986] AC 909. It was an offence at common law.
3. in the criminal law of Scotland, it is itself a crime where two or more persons agree to commit an act that, if attempted or achieved, would be a crime in Scots law. The agreement itself is a crime. See Maxwell v . HMA 1980 JC 40. See art and part.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

An agreement by two or more people to commit an illegal act or to commit a legal act using illegal means. Proving conspiracy requires evidence that the parties agreed to the plan before taking action. Proving criminal conspiracy usually requires evidence that some overt action occurred in furtherance of the plan. Some conspiracies may give rise to both criminal and civil charges. For example, a scheme by a group of salesmen to sell used automobiles as new, could be the basis for two actions: criminal prosecution for fraud and conspiracy; and a civil action by victims of the scheme for damages for the fraud and conspiracy.
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Representing Yourself in Court
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits
Category: Working With a Lawyer

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

The agreement of two or more people to do an unlawful act, or to do a lawful act by unlawful means.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

1 An agreement or combination by two or more individuals to commit a crime or to commit a lawful act by unlawful means. Making the agreement is a crime, even if the unlawful act that is planned is never performed, but most states require overt action by one of the conspirators to further the conspiracy before the making of the agreement becomes criminal. A conspiracy to harm someone is also a tort. Also called partnership in crime.
2 Two or more individuals acting together to commit a crime or to commit a lawful act by unlawful means even if they are not aware of each other's participation or role in the conspiracy. For example, Smith and Jones prepare to commit a crime. Jones enlists Adam's help. Even though Adams and Smith are unaware of each other's participation, there is a conspiracy between the two to commit the crime and they will be held liable for each other's actions.
seditious conspiracy

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

An agreement between two or more persons to engage jointly in an unlawful or criminal act, or an act that is innocent in itself but becomes unlawful when done by the combination of actors.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

An agreement between two or more persons to engage jointly in an unlawful or criminal act, or an act that is innocent in itself but becomes unlawful when done by the combination of actors.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   when people work together by agreement to commit an illegal act. A conspiracy may exist when the parties use legal means to accomplish an illegal result, or to use illegal means to achieve something that in itself is lawful. To prove a conspiracy those involved must have agreed to the plan before all the actions have been taken, or it is just a series of independent illegal acts. A conspiracy can be criminal for planning and carrying out illegal activities, or give rise to a civil lawsuit for damages by someone injured by the conspiracy. Thus, a scheme by a group of salesmen to sell used automobiles as new, could be prosecuted as a crime of fraud and conspiracy, and also allow a purchaser of an auto to sue for damages for the fraud and conspiracy.
   See also: conspirator

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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