Articles Posted in Accessory to a Crime

If you are involved in a criminal act in Southern California, even if you did not participate directly in the criminal act itself, you may be charged as an accomplice to the crime. Someone who is charged as an accomplice is charged with a lesser sentence than the actual perpetrator, but must go through the criminal justice process just like the person who committed the crime.

They will appear in Court before the Judge at an arraignment, be offered a plea bargain and may choose to plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If convicted of the charge, they will be given a sentence and must comply with court mandated requirements. The possible consequences may include a fine, probation and possibly even jail time depending on the extent of the theft and the facts of the case.

An accessory to a crime is a person who helps another to commit a crime, either beforehand or during the duration. If the person assists the perpetrator after the fact, then they are considered an accessory after the fact, not an accomplice. An accomplice is a person who helps either before the crime is committed or after. For example, if a person helps another obtain blueprints for a bank that they are planning to rob, that person will be considered an accessory to robbery. In contrast, if a person kills someone then asks another to help hide the body, the person will be an accessory after the fact, because they did not help in committing the criminal act, they helped hide it. In the second example, the assisting was after the crime had been completed, the person did not help in committing the murder.