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What Makes Someone an Accomplice?
Sometimes, becoming an accomplice to a crime can happen without you even knowing it. When it comes to the law, there always seem to be more pressing questions to answer. People want to know why they need a criminal lawyer, how to differentiate between criminal and civil law, as well as how long certain crimes “last”.
However, we feel that knowing what makes you an accomplice is just as important, as we’re going to see. One last note before getting to the point – always consider hiring a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, CA if you ever find yourself in legal trouble. Now, let’s learn about accomplicity.
What makes you an accomplice to a crime?
The correct term for becoming an accomplice in the Southern District of California Department of Justice is “aiding and abetting a crime”. It means that an individual has provided some assistance to the person who actually committed the crime. If suspected of aiding and abetting a crime, you could be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 31.
Here are some examples of aiding and abetting a crime, that is, being deemed an accomplice to a crime in the state of California, to clarify the matter further:
- Being a getaway driver.
- Keeping lookout while a person is committing a crime.
- Providing a false alibi for the perpetrator.
- Knowingly providing an individual with information that is going to be used to commit a crime.
- Providing assistance in rape or kidnapping.
However, we also have to clarify that becoming an accomplice in the state of California entails that you are doing so knowingly and willingly. If you’ve merely witnessed a crime, you are in no way liable and you cannot be convicted of aiding and abetting in the commission of a crime.
How can a prosecutor prove me guilty of aiding and abetting in the commission of a crime?
If you’re accused of helping an individual commit a crime, the job of the prosecutor is to successfully demonstrate the following criteria:
- Knowledge – The prosecutor must prove that you knew that an individual would commit a crime.
- Intent – The prosecutor must prove that you had every intention of assisting an individual commit a crime.
- Acting – The prosecutor must prove that you acted in such a way that promoted, aided, instigated, or encouraged a crime.
What are some potential defenses against the charges of aiding and abetting a crime?
If you have been charged with aiding and abetting a crime, there are several defense strategies an experienced criminal defense attorney can employ:
- Lack of participation – You did not act with the intention of encouraging, instigating, or aiding a crime.
- Duress – You were coerced into aiding a crime by being threatened with injury or immediate death.
- False accusation – An individual has wrongly identified you as an accomplice.
- No duty to act – You were present during the crime, but it wasn’t your duty to prevent it.
- Participation withdrawal – You changed your mind before the crime took place, and you told your partner in crime explicitly.
- Accessory after the fact – This defense strategy will not secure a “not guilty”, but it will lessen your sentence by claiming that you did not aid and abet a crime as it was taking place, but only after it had taken place.
Who is the best criminal defense attorney in San Diego, CA?
If you’ve been accused of aiding and abetting a crime in California, you should find a competent criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. Aiding and abetting is a serious accusation, especially when it comes to serious crimes, and an experienced lawyer will help you secure a favorable sentence.
Monder Criminal Lawyer Group employs only the top criminal attorneys in San Diego, and if anyone can help you, Vik Monder’s superstar team can. If you’re thinking of visiting the San Diego Museum of Man to clear your head a bit, visit our offices instead for a consultation!