What is an accomplice
An accomplice is any person who can be prosecuted for the same exact offenses as the principal. For example, if a person is being charged as an accomplice to the manufacturing of a controlled substance, that person must be able to be charged in the exact same manner as the principal. The accomplice must be able to be prosecuted for the identical offense.
How is an accomplice treated under the law?
Being an accomplice is not a crime. The District Attorney cannot file charges for being an accomplice. However, they can file charges for participation in the alleged events. The DA needs to prove that the person charged is responsible independently of the elements of the crime.
Aiding and Abetting
Aiding and abetting a crime is the same thing as being an accomplice. It is any person who encourages, facilitates or basically has anything at all to do with the alleged crime. The person must have had some participation, no matter how small or insignificant, with the alleged crime.
Penalties for Aiding and Abetting
The typical penalties for aiding and abetting a crime are the same as the alleged crime itself. For example, if the crime is the manufacturing of a controlled substance with a term of 3, 5 or 7 years, the penalty for aiding and abetting that crime would be the same.
Fighting an Aiding and Abetting Charge
There are several ways to fight a charge of aiding and abetting. You can prove that you were not a part of the crime, that you had no knowledge or it, and that you in no way helped or encouraged it. If you were originally a part of the time planning of the crime, you could prove that you withdrew from the plan and made an effort to stop it.
Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, to discuss fighting a charge of aiding and abetting or to discuss your accomplice liability.