In criminal law. A combination or confederacy between two or more persons formed for the purpose of committing, by their joint efforts, some unlawful or criminal act, or some act which is Innocent in itself, but becomes unlawful when done by the concerted action of the conspirators, or for the purpose of using criminal or unlawful means to the commission of an act not In itself unlawful. Conspiracy Is a consultation or agreement between two or more persons, either falsely to accuse another of a crime punishable by law; or wrongfully to injure or prejudice a third person, or any body of men, in any manner; or to commit any offense punishable by law; or to do any act with intent to prevent the course of justice; or to effect a legal purpose with a corrupt intent, or by improper means. Hawk. P. C. c. 72, 5 2; Archb. Crim. PI. 390, adding also combinations by journeymen to raise wages. State v. Murphy, 6 Ala. 765, 41 Am. Dec. 79. Civil and criminal. The term “civil” is used to designate a conspiracy which will furnish ground for a civil action, as where, in carrying out the design of the conspirators, overt acts are done causing legal damage, the person injured has a right of action. It is said that the gist of civil conspiracy is the injury or damage. While criminal conspiracy does not require such overt acts, yet, so far as the rights and remedies are concerned, all criminal conspiracies are embraced within the civil conspiracies.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
crim. law, torts. An agreement between two or more persons to do an unlawful act, or an act which may become by the combination injurious to others. Formerly this offence was much more circumscribed in its meaning than it is now. Lord Coke describes it as a consultation or agreement between two or more to appeal or indict an innocent person falsely and maliciously, whom accordingly they cause to be indicted or appealed and afterwards the party is acquitted by the verdict of twelve men. 2. The crime of conspiracy, according to its modern interpretation, may be of two kinds, Damely, conspiracies against the public, or such as endanger the public health, violate public morals, insult public justice, destroy the public peace, or affect public trade or business. See 3 Burr. 1321. 3. To remedy these evils the guilty persons may be indicted in the name of the commonwealth. Conspiracies against individuals are such as have a tendency to injure them in their persons, reputation, or property. The remedy in these cases is either by indictment or by a civil action. 4. In order to reader the offence complete, there is no occasion that any act should be done in pursuance of the unlawful agreement entered into between the parties, or that any one should have been defrauded or injured by it. The conspiracy is the gist of the crane. 5. By the laws of the United States, a willful and corrupt conspiracy to cast away, burn or otherwise destroy any ship or vessel. with intent to injure any underwriter thereon, or the goods on board thereof, or any lender of money on such vessel, on bottomry or respondentia, is, by the laws of the United States, made felony, and the offender punishable by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars, and by imprisonment and confinement at hard labor, not exceeding ten years. 7. When a felony has been committed in pursuance of a conspiracy, the latter, which is only a misdemeanor, is merged in the former; but when a misdemeanor only has been committed in pursuance of such conspiracy, the two crimes being of equal degree, there can be no legal technical merger.