Criminal Conspiracy in South Carolina

Under South Carolina law, the crime of conspiracy is defined as, “a combination between two or more persons for the purpose of accomplishing an unlawful object or lawful object by unlawful means.” Breaking this down into elements, in order to secure a conspiracy conviction, the prosecutor’s office must prove:

  • You were party to a “combination” (i.e. an arrangement or agreement) with at least one other person; and,
  • You intended to commit an illegal act or achieve an unlawful objective (an unlawful “purpose”).

Unlike the definition of a criminal conspiracy under federal law and the laws of many other states, in South Carolina, an “overt act” toward commission of the intended crime is not an element of the offense. Additionally, while an agreement is one way to establish a “combination,” no evidence of a formalized agreement is required under South Carolina law.

Conspiracy is a felony offense in South Carolina carrying up to a $5,000 fine and five years of imprisonment. However, the penalties imposed cannot exceed those for the substantive crime that was the purpose of the conspiracy.