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"Chain" conspiracy

Conspiracy in which various defendants perform different acts toward the accomplishment of a single criminal purpose

"Wheel" conspiracy

Conspiracy at which person at center (hub) directs one or more defendants in seperate conspiracies (spokes) to accomplish different criminal purposes


One who, with knowledge that a crime was committed, assists the perpetrator(s) in hiding evidence of the crime or in escaping capture, trial or imprisonment. Not treated as a principal in underlying crime

Actus reus

The "guilty" or "criminal" act. Every crime requires both a guilty act and a corresponding guilty mind


Inchoate crime: Defendant tries to commit a criminal act and fails


Inchoate crime: Defendant enters a residence or place of business with intent to commit a felony therein


Inchoate crime: Two or more persons plan together to commit a criminal act

Factual impossibility

A defense to a charged of attempt, asserting that there was no criminal attempt because it was factually impossible to commit the target crime.

General intent

The intent to commit the act itsef without reference to any further criminal purpose

Inchoate crime

An act, criminal and in of itself, commited with specific intent to accoplish a second criminal purpose

Legal impossibility

A defense to a charge of attempt, asserting that there was no criminal attempt because even if the intended act were completed it would not constitute a crime

Mens rea

"Guilty" or "criminal" mind. The mental state of the defendant must coincide with the act and be sufficient for the type of crime charged (eg, a negligent state of mind connot support a charge of intentional crime)


Inchoate crimes: Other than conspiracy, when the intended crime is accomplished the inchoate crime "merges" with (is not charged in addition to) the completed crime

Overt act

In any prosecution for conspiracy, prosecution must show some act, not necessarily criminal, done in order to carry out the object of the conspiracy

Parties to crime

Degrees of culpability for crime depending on the defendant's relationship to the actual commision of the crime


All persons involved in instigating, planning, commiting or assisting in commision of crime. Does not include accessories


Inchoate crime: One person asks, urges, incites another to commit a crime

Specific intent

The intent to accomplish some criminal purpose in addition to the act itself (eg: entry into a building with intent to commit a larceny or felony therein)

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