Did you know that you can still be charged with a crime even if you weren’t the person actually committing the act? Sounds crazy. But the truth is, the State of New Jersey can charge you with complicity – or accomplice liability.
If you’ve been charged as an accomplice to a crime, it is imperative that you get in touch with a Mercer County Accomplice Liability Attorney as soon as possible. There is no time to waste in having an attorney review your file and start formulating the right defenses.
Breaking Down Accomplice Liability
It’s scary to think that you could be legally accountable for the actions of others, but that can definitely be the case in some instances. Accomplice liability is when a person aids or abets with the intent that a crime be committed, even if they were not the principal actor.
What does this mean exactly? There are several ways to serve as an accomplice either before, during, or after the commission of a crime.
- Accessory after the fact is someone who assists a criminal knowing that they have just committed a crime. (Ex. Telling the police that a burglar turned left down the street when you know they turned right.)
- Accessory before the fact is when a person helps plan a crime. This could include purchasing supplies, creating a map, gathering information, etc.
- Soliciting another to commit a criminal offense.
One of the first questions a Mercer County accomplice liability attorney would ask you in this case would be if, at any point, you changed your mind about assisting in the commission of the crime. A defense to accomplice liability is termination. But for this to work, the defense must show that the renunciation was complete and voluntary. As the accomplice, you must have completely abandoned your efforts to assist in the commission of the crime or tried to prevent others from committing the crime.
A Mercer County Accomplice Liability Attorney Who Can Help You
Being charged as an accomplice can create a messy situation. Each defendant will be looking to point the finger at anyone else. Whatever you do, do not attempt to represent yourself. You need exceptional representation from a skilled accomplice liability attorney in Mercer County.