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Public; open; manifest.
The term overt is used in Criminal Law in reference to conduct that moves more directly toward the commission of an offense than do acts of planning and preparation that may ultimately lead to such conduct.
OVERT. Open. An overt act in treason is proof of the intention of the
traitor, because it opens his designs; without an overt act treason cannot
be committed. 2 Chit: Cr. Law, 40. An overt act then, is one which manifests
the intention of the traitor, to commit treason. Archb. Cr. Pl. 379 4 Bl.
2. The mere contemplation or intention to commit a crime; although a sin in the sight of heaven, is not an act amenable to human laws. The were speculative wantonness of a licentious imagination, however dangerous, or even sanguinary in its object, can in no case amount to a crime. But the moment that any overt act is manifest, the offender becomes amenable to the laws. Vide Attempt; Conspiracy, and Cro. Car. 577.