Learn What Is the Difference Between Collusion and Conspiracy

Collusion and conspiracy are similar in that they both involve secret or illegal cooperation between individuals or groups. However, there is a subtle difference in their legal definitions.

What Is the Difference Between Collusion and Conspiracy?

Collusion

Collusion is a general term that refers to secret cooperation for an illegal or deceitful purpose, while conspiracy is a specific type of crime in which two or more people agree to commit an illegal act and take steps to carry it out. In other words, collusion is an agreement to do something illegal, while conspiracy is an agreement to do something illegal, and an action taken to further that agreement.



Collusion and conspiracy are both terms used to describe secret or illegal cooperation between individuals or groups. However, there is a subtle difference in their legal definitions.

Collusion is a general term that refers to secret cooperation for an illegal or deceitful purpose. It can be used in any context where people or organizations work together to achieve a common goal, whether it is legal or illegal. For example, collusion can refer to two companies working together to fix prices, or to two individuals working together to commit fraud.

Conspiracy

Conspiracy, on the other hand, is a specific type of crime in which two or more people agree to commit an illegal act and take steps to carry it out. It is a criminal offense under the common law and statutory law of many countries. In the United States, for example, conspiracy is a federal crime under 18 U.S.C. ยง 371. It is defined as an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime, along with an overt act taken in furtherance of that agreement.

Differences between Collusion and Conspiracy

One key difference between collusion and conspiracy is that collusion does not necessarily involve criminal intent. It is possible for people or organizations to collude for a legal purpose, such as to achieve a business advantage. However, conspiracy always involves criminal intent, as the parties must intend to commit an illegal act.

Another difference is that collusion can occur between any number of people or organizations, while conspiracy requires at least two people. This means that a single individual committing a crime on their own cannot be charged with conspiracy, only the underlying crime.

What Evidence Is Needed Between Collusion & Conspiracy?

The evidence required to prove collusion and conspiracy also differ. To prove collusion, evidence of secret cooperation or coordination between the parties is required. This can include emails, text messages, or other forms of communication. To prove conspiracy, evidence of an agreement to commit a crime and an overt act taken in furtherance of that agreement is required. This can include wiretapped phone conversations, surveillance footage, or testimony from a co-conspirator.

In summary, collusion is a general term that refers to secret cooperation for an illegal or deceitful purpose, while conspiracy is a specific type of crime in which two or more people agree to commit an illegal act and take steps to carry it out. The key difference between them is that collusion does not necessarily involve criminal intent, while conspiracy always does. Additionally, collusion can occur between any number of people or organizations, while conspiracy requires at least two people.

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