Crimes are often carried out in two different ways. Colorado criminal defense lawyers note that while some criminals act out of impulse and proceed with engaging in an illegal act randomly, others put their minds together and devise a plan to carry out their ultimate goal. In the event someone finds themselves working alongside a criminal as they plan to commit an offense, they too are going to held accountable once identified, even if they did not carry out the deed themselves. This is known as accomplice liability, and yes, a person who has any sort of involvement in the planning of a crime also faces severe punishments that are based on the circumstances of the crime itself.
In order for someone to be recognized as an accomplice to a crime, there are some elements that must be identified. Criminal defense attorneys in Colorado present them below.
- While the person was in fact present during the discussion or planning of the crime, the actual infraction was carried out by another individual.
- The named “accomplice” helped plan, encourage, or assist in the crime to be committed. It is also important to keep in mind that someone can also be charged as an accomplice to a crime if they failed to put an end to the idea before it was carried out, or failed to report the individuals taking part in the offense to the local authorities.
- The person knowingly and willingly acted as a co-conspirator to the crime and played some sort of role in carrying it out. For example, an accomplice can serve as the driver to a getaway car or provided a weapon to the initiator of the offense in order for them to use it to help aid in the crime.
One important fact to keep in mind is that an accomplice is indeed at risk of facing the same charges of that of the person who physically committed the crime. For example, if someone robbed a bank and the accomplice helped devise a plan to do so, both are equally held accountable for the robbery itself.
If you or a loved one has recently been accused of being an accomplice to a crime, you want to consider speaking with a Colorado criminal defense legal representative who can provide you with their legal expertise and support as you are going to want to have a legal professional by your side. Considering you may be in fact found guilty of a crime you did not carry out, having a legal representative there beside you could possibly help reduce your sentence or the lower the number of charges you may be facing.