In most situations, the main perpetrator of a crime is legally referred to as a principal. If there are any other people assisting in the agency of a crime, they will be referred to as accomplices. An accomplice plays a supporting role in a crime, but he or she can still be found just as culpable as the principal. If you believe that you were an accomplice to a crime, it’s crucial that you know your legal rights and what you will be charged with in criminal court.
How Do I Know If I Was an Accomplice?
In order to be found as a guilty accomplice in court, there must be proof that you had the intent to help with the crime being committed. This would mean that as the accomplice you would have had to know that the principal was planning to commit a crime that you had intended to help the principal succeed in the crime. Also, state law usually states that the accomplice would have helped, counseled, encouraged or physically assisted with the setting out of the crime.
How Am I Liable as an Accomplice?
As an accomplice to a crime, you can be found guilty of the actual crime that was planned and committed. You can also be found liable for other crimes if they were committed during the main target crime. Examples of liable accomplices include get-away drivers, lookouts for police officers, or lenders of tools, weapons, money or anything else to commit the crime successfully. In some cases, you can avoid accomplice liability if you can prove that you withdrew support before the crime was completed. The level of encouragement can provide a way out for liability, but this will depend on the specific case and if the court believes you could have thwarted the crime completely.
If you are facing an accomplice charge in New Jersey, our criminal defense attorney will help you through your case and defend you against your criminal charges. Contact Gelman Law, LLC today to speak with an experienced criminal lawyer.