Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Charged as an Accomplice to a Crime: Here’s What to Do

If you are charged as an accomplice to a crime, you could face the same or similar consequences as the principal suspect. Accomplice liability implies that you are also responsible for the crime by aiding or abetting the suspect, even if you did not commit the criminal act yourself. You may be considered an accomplice when you deliberately encourage or help the suspect in committing a crime, or if you intentionally or purposely fail to prevent the crime.

The highly technical nature of complicity makes it crucial to seek legal counsel to get a proper defense. A Raleigh criminal lawyer will help you fully understand your rights, guide you through the proceedings, and create a solid defense strategy.

Accomplices may face variety of charges that may be trumped up by the prosecutor in order to obtain leverage. An experienced lawyer can help you distinguish one from the other and form the suitable defense for it.  If you are not the principal in the first degree (the person who actually committed the crime), you could be charged as:

·         Principal in the second degree - the accomplice is present at the commission of the crime and assists the principal but does not commit the act himself or herself
·         Accessory before the fact – for instance, the accomplice plans the whole crime but is not present at the scene or does not commit the act himself or herself
·         Accessory after the fact – for instance, the accomplice lets the accused hide in his/her property or knowingly help in his/her escape

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