Sometimes we get caught up in the moment or are with the wrong people at the wrong time. If you are charged with being an accessory or principle to a crime, you need to contact an attorney immediately to help defend against this charge. At Koonlegal, we have experienced attorneys that can handle your case. I am writing this blog post to inform you of just how easy one could be charged and convicted for being a principle or accessory to a crime.
Being an accessory or principle to a crimes elements are below:
If the defendant helped another person or persons [commit] [attempt to commit] a crime, the defendant is a principal and must be treated as if [he] [she] had done all the things the other person or persons did if:
1. the defendant had a conscious intent that the criminal act be done and
2. the defendant did some act or said some word which was intended to and which did incite, cause, encourage, assist, or advise the other person or persons to actually [commit] [attempt to commit] the crime.
To be a principal, the defendant does not have to be present when the crime is [committed] [or] [attempted]. See State v. Dene, 533 So.2d 265 (Fla. 1988).
Let’s take a closer look at this definition. It says that a person isn’t the one committing the crime but inciting, causing, encouraging, assisting by some act or words to advise or assist the other person in committing the crime. It also states that a person who is a principle or accessory to a crime does not have to be present at the time of the offense. The accessory or principle person can give the command, help plan, instigate (encourage) the crime, and even cover it up.
An accessory or principle to a crime only needs to say some word or words which could intend to incite, cause, encourage, assist or advise the other person to commit a crime. Please be advised that this could simply be one statement of encouragement to commit the crime. The person accused of accessory or principle does not physically have to do any act in furtherance of the crime to be a principle or accessory to a crime. “Hey you need to go in the back door when you burglarize the store.” “You should not hit them in the side but hit them in the back.” All are examples of encourage or assisting.
One very important fact to understand is that the person being accused of being an accessory to a crime must knowingly contribute to the crime, not accidently. The prosecutor must prove that the person knew about the crime and intentionally helped commit or conceal it. There must be some couscous intent that the criminal act be done.
Being an accessory to a crime is a serious offense. A person can back out of being an accessory of a crime by denouncing the plans, refusing to assist with the crime, contacting the police or trying to stop the crime from happening. If you find yourself being charged as an accessory or a principle to a crime, our firm can assist you with your criminal defense. In many situations, there will be recorded evidence and our firm has filed many motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence. Koonlegal has experienced criminal defense attorney’s that can assist you with your case. We have offices in Miami, Gainesville, Lake City, and Live Oak, Florida. Our main office is located in Lake City, Florida. 284 SW Baya Drive, Lake City, Florida 32025. 386-597-0000.