Helping a Criminal / Accomplice Culpability

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Yes, it is possible to be convicted of helping a criminal commit a crime If you intentionally aid in the commission of a crime, you are an accomplice to the crime. The person who actually commits the crime is known as the principal, while those who assist the principal are accomplices.

The Elements of Being an Accomplice

In order to be an accomplice, a crime must first be committed. In addition, you must intend to assist the principal in committing the crime and you must also intend for the principal to commit the crime. You must also perform some act that assists, aids or helps the principal. Examples of assistance include supplying gunsor other weapons, leading the victim to the principal, and being a lookout.

I Think I May be an Accomplice to a Crime, What can I be Convicted of?

If you are found to be an accomplice, you will be convicted of the crime(s) the principal committed. You will not be convicted for being an accomplice. The law sees accomplices as just as guilty as the principal. So, if you are an accomplice to a robbery, you will be convicted of robbery. In addition, you can also be convicted for any crime(s) that occurs during the commission of the crime.

What if I Helped after the Crime was Committed, can I still be Convicted?

Yes, but you will likely be convicted of accessory after the fact. This is a separate crime in most states and usually entails significantly lighter punishments than those of the crime committed. To be an accessory after the fact, you must know that a felon has committed a crime and then help the felon avoid arrest or trial.

I Have Been Accused of being an Accomplice in a Crime, Do I Need a Lawyer?

Anytime you are accused of a crime you should contact a lawyer immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney can inform about your rights and the complicated legal system.

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Last Modified: 05-10-2013 02:38 PM PDT

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