Being caught and charged with a crime is a disorienting experience enough, but what if you were arrested for being a criminal accomplice instead? What if you had nothing to do with the crime, but are being named as an accomplice by the police? Here’s what you should know and how to get legal help from an experienced attorney in Hartford.
How Does California Law Treat Accomplices?
The person who commits a crime is called the principal, while others who may be helping them commit the crime are called accomplices. Under Connecticut law, accomplices are typically just as culpable for a criminal offense as a principal, especially if the actions of the group resulted in the serious harm or death of another person.
How Prosecutors Must Prove You Were an Accomplice
In any criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of proof to show the court that the defendant is guilty of the crime which they are accused of. In the case of proving a defendant was a criminal accomplice, the following must be shown:
- The defendant was involved in the crime and there was no issue of mistaken identity
- The defendant had knowledge of, or should have had knowledge, that the actions were criminal
- The defendant willingly engaged in these actions
You may be able to be charged with being a criminal accomplice if the prosecution can show where you knew the defendant was going to commit a crime and you offered tips, encouragement, advice, or other counseling on how, when, and where to commit the crime. If you knew and just egged the defendant on, you may still be on the hook for accomplicement.
Can An Accomplice Be Charged With the Crime Itself?
In some circumstances, a criminal accomplice may incur a charge for the crime itself. For example, if a friend robbed a bank and you drove the getaway car, you may also be charged with bank robbery.
When to Contact a Seasoned Hartford Criminal Defense Lawyer
Even if you are only suspected of helping someone commit a crime, or merely gave them a tip in jest, you could be in serious trouble if they actually committed the crime. If police have evidence to show you were a physical accomplice, your future is even more at risk. Don’t trust just anyone when your life is on the line; contact Attorney J. Christopher Llinas today for a consultation by calling (860) 530-1781.