A conspiracy is defined as an agreement between two or more people that is entered into with the specific intent of committing a criminal act.
Conspiracy requires four elements:
(1) An agreement, which can either be express or implied
(2) Some slight act in furtherance of the conspiracy. (Note: under common law, there was no overt act needed)
(3) A specific intent to pursue an unlawful objective
(4) A meeting of the minds (One cannot conspire with someone who has an innocent mind)
Conspiracy does not merge with the substantive offense.
Each conspirator is liable for all crimes of their co-conspirators, if the crimes are committed in furtherance of the conspiracy and were reasonably foreseeable.
In order to successfully withdraw from a conspiracy, a conspirator must inform all of her co-conspirators of her intent to withdraw and this notice must be given while there is still time for the other co-conspirators to abandon their criminal plans. A defendant who successfully withdraws can save himself from liability for future (not yet committed) crimes of his former co-conspirators, for which he would have been responsible had she remained a part of the conspiracy. However, even if a conspirator withdraws, the act of withdrawal will never relieve her of liability for the conspiracy itself or for any reasonably foreseeable crimes that have already been committed in furtherance of the conspiracy.