What Happens if I’m Accused Of Being An Accomplice To A Crime?
You might believe criminal activities are perpetrated by one or a handful of malfeasance. However, other subjects known as accomplices could also play a significant role in executing such acts.
William Brennan, a criminal defense attorney in Doylestown, PA, stresses that a legal concept known as accomplice liability is a major offense that could carry serious penalties.
The Definition Of An Accomplice
Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies might charge you as an accomplice if said organizations possess evidence suggesting that your actions enabled another party to commit a criminal act.
State law places accomplices into three categories, criminal solicitation, criminal facilitation, and criminal masterminding.
This act occurs when you solicit another party to commit some type of criminal offense.
You facilitate a crime by aiding the primary perpetrator’s aims. A solid example of a facilitator is the getaway driver for a bank robber. Said subject’s actions facilitate successful completion of this offensive behavior.
Masterminds might not participate in the actual act but play a discernible role in planning said endeavors.
What If You Are Charged With Accomplice Liability?
If you are charged with accomplice liability, you are firmly urged to consult with an experienced criminal justice lawyer. From the time you retain the services of said legal personality, they can serve as your advocate and shepherd you through this often confusing and complex process.
The first thing you and your attorney will need to learn is the reasons you were charged as an accomplice and the potential penalties you could face if convicted. From there, the defendant and attorney can review the facts and potentially formulate a suitable defense.
It is difficult to pinpoint specific punishments. Several factors will play into the specific punishment a ruling body may levy such as your criminal history, the nature of the crime if violence occurred or weapons were used, and how specifically complicit you were in executing the offense in question.
Regardless, however, said accusations are serious and could have significant potential freedom-inhibiting consequences.
Accomplice liability is not always a cut and dried matter. Astute criminal defense lawyers might employ any one of the following counterarguments:
In certain instances, an accomplice’s involvement might be instituted against their will. For example, while attempting to flee, an alleged perpetrator threatens you at gunpoint to drive them away from the crime scene.
Under these circumstances, your participation would have occurred under duress and you only compiled fearing physical harm or death if you refused.
No Crime Was Committed
An actual crime must have occurred for you to be charged with accomplice liability.
Attempted Crime Prevention Or Warning
The law might look favorably on you if you either attempt to prevent a crime from occurring or give adequate warning to law enforcement officials that such acts are scheduled to take place.
Contacting The Brennan Law Offices
If you reside in the Philadelphia suburbs and have been formally charged with accomplice liability, your first call should be to us.
Bill Brennan and his staff have extensive experience handling such cases. We can review your circumstances and might be able to draft a favorable argument. To learn more about us, please visit our website.