What if I Didn't Commit the Crime?
You may think that simply being present while a crime is committed means that you won’t be charged. After all, if you technically did nothing, how can you be charged for that?
However, being an accomplice to a crime can result in serious penalties as well.
What Is An Accomplice?
An accomplice is someone who intentionally helps another person to commit a crime. They may help in the planning or the getaway, but they do not commit the crime themself.
A common example of this is a getaway car driver or someone on the lookout.
Accomplice vs. Conspirator
Though sometimes used interchangeably, these two roles are very different.
A conspirator is someone who helps in the commission of the crime. Co-conspirators work together to plan and execute the crime.
Accomplice vs. Accessory
An accessory may be someone who encourages someone else to commit a crime or who helps them cover it up once they have committed the offense.
Some actions that may make you an accessory are:
- Providing advice for how to commit the crime
- Helping the principal offender evade law enforcement
- Hiring someone to commit an offense
Accomplices have a more active role in the commission of the crime than accessories do.
It is also common for accomplices to be at the scene of the crime, while accessories usually are not.
Florida Accomplice Liability
Being an accomplice, conspirator, or accessory can result in criminal penalties.
Florida’s Accomplice Liability law allows for anyone who aids in the commission of the crime to be punished just as severely as the main perpetrator.
For example, if you were an accomplice to first-degree burglary, you will be considered a main perpetrator and could be facing the first-degree felony penalty of life imprisonment.
Broward County Defense Attorneys
Always be cautious of the situations you are getting yourself into. If you are present at the time of the crime or assist the principal offender in any way, you could find yourself in serious legal trouble. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we understand that people make mistakes. If you are facing criminal charges, give us a call today at (954) 840-8713 to get started on your defense.