Accomplices and Accessories
The criminal justice system is designed to ensure that persons who harm other members of society are held accountable for these offenses. Despite the focus in many cases on the actions of a single defendant, it is more typical that other parties might have been involved in the commission of the criminal act.
Depending upon the nature of a defendant’s involvement, he or she may be charged as either an accomplice or accessory. While these charges indicate that an individual did not directly perpetrate the crime, the penalties for behaviors considered to facilitate the offense can be quite severe.
If you have been arrested and are awaiting trial as an accomplice or accessory to a serious crime, then it is important that you work with a skilled and experienced attorney who can help to protect your name and your freedom. Contact the Champaign-Urbana criminal defense lawyers of Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000.
Elements of Accountability
One of the key distinctions between an accomplice and an accessory is that an accomplice is typically present at the scene when a crime is committed and an accessory is not. This and other factors often mean that an accessory is subject to lesser charges than an accomplice, making it critical that you work with a criminal defense attorney who can see that your involvement in a crime is not exaggerated by another party seeking to protect him or herself. Some of the elements of accountability that will be weighed in evaluating one’s degree of involvement include:
- Knowledge of the principal perpetrator’s intent
- Providing necessary knowledge, equipment, or motivation
- Giving the principal actor direct assistance before, during, or after the crime
You are guaranteed the right to a fair trial and capable counsel. We will make sure that you have both. Contact the Champaign-Urbana criminal defense lawyers of Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000.