What Happens If I’m Charged With Being an Accomplice in a Crime?
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What Happens If I’m Charged With Being an Accomplice in a Crime?
May 14, 2021

What Happens If I’m Charged With Being an Accomplice in a Crime?

Posted in : First Page Attorney
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Criminal Defense Lawyer Jesse Adams

Getting apprehended by the police and charged with a criminal offense is jarring enough, but what if instead, you were charged with being an accomplice? Imagine you weren’t related to the crime in any way, but the police have identified you as a criminal co-conspirator. Here’s what to know about getting legal help after being charged as an accomplice to a crime. 

You’ll Need to Understand What Being a Criminal Accomplice Means

Under the law, “principal” is the person who commits the crime, while accomplices are any people who assist them in committing the crime. Some people are surprised to learn that an accomplice or co-conspirator is typically just as culpable as the principal in a crime, particularly if the offense resulted in substantial injury or death of someone else. 

The Prosecution Will Have to Prove How You Helped Commit the Crime in Question 

Just like with any other criminal case, prosecutors have the burden of proof to show that you were, in fact, an accomplice to the crime in question. Their evidence must be persuasive enough to have you convicted without any doubt by a jury of your peers. Prosecutors typically must show: 

  • The actions you took were actually against the law 
  • There is no possibility that your identity could have been mistaken 
  • That you were fully aware, or should have been, that the actions you took were illegal 

You may be able to refute the prosecution’s argument with evidence of your own. For example, if you have an alibi for the time the crime was committed by the principal showing that you were somewhere else, this may be enough to exonerate you. 

Or, you may be able to demonstrate that you had no knowledge the principal was committing a crime. E.g., if you were riding in a car with a person who stopped by a gas station, asked you to wait in the car, and came out and drove away, you may have no reason to suspect that they robbed the gas station or that you were caught on camera in a getaway car. 

You Should Reach Out to an Northampton Criminal Defense Lawyer As Soon As You Can 

Attorney Jesse Adams has extensive experience successfully representing clients accused of acting as an accomplice to a crime. Our office is well equipped to handle your case and defend you to the fullest extent of the law. Call now at 413.585.9200.

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