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Conspiracy, or a scheme with others to commit a criminal act, is in and of itself, a separate crime. Generally, state laws define it as an unlawful combination or agreement by two or more individuals to participate in a criminal act. Four elements are necessary for a conspiracy conviction:

  • an agreement between the parties;
  • specific intent by the parties to commit the criminal act;
  • an unlawful object used or planned to be used in committing the criminal act; and
  • overt or purposeful acts on the part of the participants.

A gang of thieves, for example, that rob banks is charged under the conspiracy laws in addition to robbery charges.