If you aided someone in a crime in any way and were charged with the crime, you could be held responsible for it even if you did not really commit the crime yourself. If you are in this position and are wondering what will happen during your criminal trial, there are several things you should know about accomplices and the way the law views them.
What Is An Accomplice?
When a crime is committed, the person responsible for actually committing the crime can be charged with the crime; however, anyone that may have helped this person complete the crime may also be charged with the crime. Individuals that assist with a crime in any way are referred to as accomplices.
Accomplices are not all viewed equally in the eyes of the law, though. There are several different degrees of accomplices, including the following two:
- Aiders and abettors – Anyone who played a role in the crime can be considered an aider and abettor. This type of crime can be charged to a person that drove the getaway car or was in the room when the crime occurred.
- Accessories before the fact – A person that knew about the crime and helped in some way prior to the crime being committed can be referred to as accessory before the fact. This person would not have been at the crime scene, but he or she would have been part of the plot.
If you did not actually commit the crime you are being charged with but aided with the act in any way, you might be charged as an aider, abettor, or accessory. While these types of charges are not as severe as those against the person who actually committed the crime, they can still face major consequences, depending on what type of crime it was. In addition, being charged as an aider or abettor might offer harsher consequences than a charge for being an accessory before the fact.
How Can You Fight To Receive A Lighter Charge?
Every criminal case is different; however, the goal your criminal lawyer will have is to help you get the lightest charge and punishment possible. There are several ways lawyers do this, and one option is to fight to prove you were just an accessory and not an aider or abettor. If you can convince the court of this, your consequences will not be as harsh.
Another option you may have in your case is to take a plea bargain. In many situations, courts will offer plea bargains to criminals who are willing to admit guilt. If you will not admit guilt or your involvement in the crime, you will probably face a criminal lawsuit. This takes time and costs money, and courts often encourage criminals to avoid court cases by admitting guilt. In return, you could receive a lighter charge and punishment for your part in the crime.
Another way to receive a plea bargain is to offer details about the other people involved in the case. If you are willing to testify against your friends, the court may offer you a plea bargain that has a lighter charge and punishment. If you are willing to accept a plea bargain, you will not have to worry about going through a long court battle. The case will be closed, and you will find out your punishment right away.
Having criminal charges against you can be scary, especially if you really did not commit the crime. If you are in this situation and are not sure what you should do, make sure you contact a criminal law attorney for assistance.
For more information, contact a company like O'Brien & Dekker.Share