It's bad enough to hear that a friend is in trouble, but it's even worse to have the police tell you that the trouble was due to your friend doing something illegal -- and now they want to question you because you let your friend stay in your home or gave your friend a ride somewhere. If you have found yourself accused of being an accessory to a crime, you could face a difficult road ahead. However, there are three important distinctions that have to be made in order for the charges to stick.
You Didn't Know
You have to be aware of what's going on in order to have any charges made against you. If your friend gave you a call one night and said her car had broken down, and could you give her a ride to another friend's home, you'd really have no reason to suspect anything was wrong. If your friend's trip to the other person's home was really an escape from a situation in which your friend had committed a felony, and the ride you gave her was in reality away from the crime scene, you have no way of knowing that if no one's told you and you saw nothing out of the ordinary when you picked her up. Basically, you can't be charged with a crime for not being telepathic.
On the other hand, if you're driving your friend away and she confesses that she just committed a crime, now you are at risk of becoming an accessory. If you continue to drive her and drop her off at that other person's place, you might have just helped her evade arrest, and you can be arrested and charged yourself.
You Were Pressured or Forced
Now say that your friend told you in the car that she had committed a crime, and you stopped the car and told her she had to go to the police. If she merely begs you to keep driving her to her other friend's house, and you comply, you could be an accessory. But if she suddenly digs the tip of a knife in your side in order to force you to drive her, then charges wouldn't stick to you, no pun intended. In this case, you're being forced and are not in what is legally known as the mental state to be an accessory.
There Was No Felony
Accessory charges are generally used for felony crimes. While you might not get off totally without charges if the crime was a misdemeanor, you can't be held on felony accessory charges if the crime didn't reach that status.
A good criminal defense attorney can help you fight accessory charges if you think your situation falls into one of these three categories. If you are now facing such conditions, talk to a criminal defense attorney now so that you can get started on your defense. The attorney will help prove to police, or courts if the prosecution won't let go, that you were not in the right situations to make your actions those of an accessory. To find out more, speak with someone like Scott L. Kramer Law Office.Share
23 November 2015
Few things are more frustrating than being accused of a crime that you didn't commit. I found myself in this difficult situation a few years ago when I was with a friend who broke the law. However, I knew that I didn't do anything, which is why I hired an experienced criminal attorney to help me out. He carefully reviewed my case, talked with me about what court would be like, and helped me to wrap my head around the different punishments I might face. He helped to prove my innocence, and I decided to set up this blog to help other people to understand the importance of working with a professional.