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Collusion: Definition, Types & Laws

Instructor: Ryan Futo

Ryan has a master of education and a BA in Criminal Justice.

What is collusion? We will discover not only what collusion is, but the different types of collusion. Moreover, by the end of the lesson, you will have learned about the different laws involving collusion which will help you become a more versatile investigator.

Understanding Collusion and the Ensuing Law

Collusion may occur in many variations. People may spend an inordinate amount of time coming up with a collusive plan. Investigators need to maintain awareness and know which types of collusion they may be looking for. Collusion itself may not be a crime. For the investigator, it is vital that he/she be an expert and understand the laws which may have to be testified to in court. After completing this lesson, you, the student, will have a better understanding of collusion, types of collusion, and laws.

Collusion Defined

You may not know or realize what collusion is. Have you ever heard of the word complicity or maybe conspiracy? Simply stated, collusion can be having any involvement or knowledge of an act.

A more formal definition according to a legal dictionary (2017) is ''An agreement between two or more people to defraud a person from his or rights to obtain something that is prohibited by law.''

Types of Collusion

Civil collusion happens when there is no possibility of jail as an outcome. Did you know collusion is sometimes found in divorces? For example, let's look at Jack and Jill who are married and are now getting a divorce. They are civilized and do not hold any ill will against each other, but simply do not get along. They both agree to place the reason for the divorce on Jack by saying Jack cheated on Jill. If both spouses agree on the reasoning such as adultery the divorce moves quickly to be finalized.

Nonfeasance collusion is another collusion which is civil and can be damaging to a person that you prove to have acted in a nonfeasance manner. When someone does not act, and their inaction results in harm to a person or property, it is an act of nonfeasance. What happens when you add the word collusion to nonfeasance? There was a setup between two or more people and now injury or damage has occurred. For example, a daycare provider and their worker(s) know that a crib is broken but yet the worker(s) still use the crib. Next, it breaks injuring a baby. The liability will be on both the worker and provider.

Criminal collusion is exactly what it sounds like. Two or more people colluded to commit a crime. For example, brothers Bill and Ted wanted to kill their parents so they can receive their parent's assets. They tell mom and dad that they are going on vacation and even make all the necessary arraignments. Bill does indeed go on the vacation; Ted stays home, breaks into his parents' home and murders them. After the investigation, all the details are learned, and because Bill and Ted both colluded to this plan they both will be charged. Criminal collusion can be sought in other crimes such as bank robberies, or a plan to assault someone.

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