Florida is one of a handful of states that exempts the family members of a fugitive from prosecution. A family member includes parent, spouse, grandparent, child, or grandchild. These family members may avoid facing charges if they were protecting a fugitive from being arrested by authorities. Federal law does not allow this same exemption.
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No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission. All rights reserved. This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media. Close Menu. Menu Call Email Search. Can I Still Get in Trouble? When you are accused of being an accomplice, the prosecutor will not try to show the jury you actually committed the offense or attempted to commit it beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the prosecutor will seek to prove you aided and abetted, or in some way helped the person or people who committed the crime.
For example, when another person committed a robbery by brandishing a weapon and insisting a homeowner hand over their prized possessions, the prosecutor will not try to prove you committed the actual robbery. They may claim you were an accomplice to robbery by knowingly providing the weapon, being a lookout, or driving a getaway vehicle. When you are going up against a prosecutor who believes you aided and abetted a crime, you need a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer on your side.
You are going to have to defend yourself, and you cannot simply argue that you did not commit the crime. You are not on trial for committing the actual crime. You are on trial for participating in the commission of the offense. Were falsely accused. Someone may have named you as an accomplice to a crime out of revenge or as part of a plan to conceal an actual accomplice.
Did not encourage, facilitate, or in any way help the person commit the crime. Consider the robbery example. You thought your friend was picking up another acquaintance. They tell you to wait there and be ready to go quickly. You are confused, but you sit in the car and wait.
It is not until your friend comes running out from behind the house carrying things and yelling at you to start the car do you realize he committed a crime. Withdrew from the criminal activity before it took place. It is possible to be involved with a crime and then back out. You must be able to show that you withdrew from the criminal activity before the crime took place, that you notified the other people of your withdrawal, and then you strove to prevent the crime from taking place.
Facilitated the crime after the fact. Whether you helped the commission of the crime before, during, or after it took place is important. If you only assisted in a criminal activity after it took place, then you are an accessory after the fact and not a principal.
If you are an accessory after the fact, you should face a lesser charge. If you have been accused of aiding and abetting a criminal offense, contact a Los Angeles aiding and abetting defense attorney from Spolin Law P.
You can also face a criminal charge if you are an accessory to an offense instead of a principal. This is called being an accessory after the fact. It is a different situation than if you are considered to have aided and abetted a criminal before or during the crime, which is called being an accessory before the fact and means you can be charged with the same underlying crime.
Being an accessory after the fact typically results in lower charges and penalties than the underlying offense. It is important that you take accusations of being an accessory seriously and call a Los Angeles aiding and abetting defense attorney right away.
If you are accused of being an accessory to a serious sex crime, you face harsh penalties. Being an accessory to rape or an accessory to attempted murder can result in years in prison. There are many situations in which you can be accused of being an accessory to a crime. Many cases we have handled involve someone:. When you face charges for being an accessory after the fact, there are a number of elements the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:.
Contact a Los Angeles aiding and abetting defense attorney if you are facing charges for being an accessory to a criminal offense. Reach out to Spolin Law P. This means you can face 16 months, two years, or three years in a California prison. Based on the possible statutory penalties for an accessory charge, it is a wobbler offense in California. You may face misdemeanor charges, for which you would spend no more than one year in jail.
Or, you can be charged with a felony and may be punished with years in prison. Whether or not you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony depends on the circumstances of the current case, including the underlying crime committed, your actions, and your criminal history. When you are charged with being an accessory after the fact, we recommend calling a Los Angeles aiding and abetting defense attorney from our firm as soon as possible.
There are several ways to defend yourself. However, you will need an experienced lawyer to carefully review your case and to determine the strongest defense strategy. A felony was not committed. Your attorney may seek to prove that the crime that the other party allegedly committed was a misdemeanor. You lacked knowledge that a felony took place.
You may have had no idea a friend, family member, or romantic partner committed a felony. For instance, you may be accused of harboring a fugitive if you let a friend stay at your place for the weekend. However, if you did not know a crime had been committed or that your friend may be wanted by the police, then you were not an accessory.
You have been falsely accused. When it comes to criminal activity involving multiple people, it is common for various accusations to be made. A person may have accused you of a crime out of anger or a need for revenge. Or, a person may have accused you to deflect attention from themselves or to protect someone else. You acted under duress. You may have helped someone who you knew committed a crime, but you may not have done so willingly. Your Los Angeles aiding and abetting defense attorney may seek to show the jury that you or your loved ones were threatened, or you felt you had no choice but to do what the offender told you to do.
You have no connection to the crime. It may be that you were a bystander and had absolutely no connection the criminal activity before, during, or after the commission of the offense. When you are accused of acting as an accomplice before or during a crime, or acting as an accessory after the fact, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.
You are going to need someone to aggressively defend you in court. By hiring an attorney from Spolin Law P. Our team is highly experienced in helping our clients eliminate, reduce, or pay bail so that they can be out of jail while their cases progress. We will immediately investigate the allegations against you. We will obtain as much evidence as possible and carefully analyze each piece if said evidence.
This may give us leverage to file a PC Motion to Dismiss. We may be able to argue that the charges against you should be dismissed based on a lack of evidence, a procedural issue, or another legal matter. If the judge allows the case to move forward, we may take a number of pre-trial steps to help your case.
This may include various motions, such as a motion to rule certain evidence inadmissible in court. If we believe the prosecutor will attempt to use illegally-obtained evidence, we will fight for it to be excluded at trial. If your case is not resolved before trial, either through a dismissal or plea bargain, then we will prepare a defense on your behalf.
A Los Angeles aiding and abetting defense attorney will strive to create enough doubt that the jury must acquit you. The potential consequence of an abetting and abetting or accessory after the fact charge are too serious to handle on your own or to rely on an over-worked public defender.
Those who help a criminal after the crime has been committed are considered accomplices after the fact. Some examples of aiding and abetting include:. Those convicted of aiding and abetting face varying sentences depending on the nature of the crime and whether it is prosecuted at the federal level or state level.
Some courts sentence accomplices to a lesser degree than the actual perpetrator. There are still many courts that reserve the right to sentence the accomplice to the same punishment as the actual perpetrator. Many defendants facing aiding and abetting charges are able to avoid their own heavy sentences by cooperating with authorities in arresting or convicting the perpetrator of the case.
The best first step for any person facing aiding and abetting charges is to contact an attorney to explore their options. This can lead to sentences only consisting of probation or fines with no prospect of time in prison. For more information regarding aiding and abetting a potential criminal, speak with Houston attorney Rand Mintzer at Houston criminal defense attorney Rand Mintzer represents clients in the Houston, Texas area, including Chambers County.
Houston Criminal Law Blog. Different Defendants in a Court Case There are two main defendants in a case that involves aiding and abetting. There can be one or more perpetrators in a single case. Accomplice: This is the person who assisted the principal perpetrator in some way. The federal laws that define criminal conduct related to fugitives from justice are found in 18 U.
Code Chapter This Chapter of the federal code contains four statutes defining different types of unlawful behavior, establishing the elements of each offense, and imposing penalties. The relevant statutes include:. Whenever you have been charged under any of these statutes, it is important that you know what a prosecutor is required to prove for your specific crime.
If a prosecutor does not prove every element of that particular offense, you should be acquitted on the charges that you are facing. Because there are different penalties for each of the different statutes in 18 U. Code Chapter 49, as well as different definitions of each particular offense, it is helpful to make sure you talk with an attorney early on when you have been charged so you can understand the specific details of the crime you have been accused of committing.
Whether you have fled to avoid prosecution or giving testimony, or whether you have been accused of concealing a person from being arrested or concealing a convicted prisoner, you need to understand how the law applies to your situation and you need to understand what your options are for defending yourself against serious federal charges.
When I initially met with Mr. Wooldridge, he took the opportunity to sit and go over my problem with me. He described details in my case which he found disturbing and explained why he I should have him on my side. We can work closely with you to evaluate the evidence, determine if the prosecutor can prove different elements of the offense, and develop and implement a sound legal strategy. To find out more about the ways in which our federal criminal defense firm can help if you live in California, Arizona , Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas, give us a call today.
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