Before a person can be convicted of the federal crime of conspiracy, the prosecutor must prove the following four things beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That two or more people came to a mutual understanding to try to accomplish a common, unlawful plan;
- The person charged with conspiracy knew about the unlawful purpose of the plan and willfully joined it;
- One of the alleged conspirators knowingly committed at least one of the overt acts described in the indictment during the existence of the conspiracy; and
- The overt act was knowingly committed at or about the time alleged in the indictment for the purpose of accomplishing some object of the conspiracy.
However, if a person charged with conspiracy actually conspires to commit an illegal act but later withdraws from that conspiracy before anyone has committed an overt act, then the person who withdrew is not guilty of conspiracy.
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