An accomplice to crime is subject to the same penalties as the primary perpetrator. This accusation, however, has a distinct burden of evidence. An accessory charge requires evidence of a criminal conduct, the defendant's participation in the crime, some sort of connection between the two, and the defendant's knowledge of the act.
A Necessary Ingredient of Criminal Conduct
To be considered an accessory, a person must have engaged in a criminal conduct, such as aiding in the commission of a crime or attempting to evade arrest or conviction. An obstruction of justice charge may be added to an accessory's criminal record in some jurisdictions.
In certain jurisdictions, complicity in the commission of a crime can result in an accessory act prosecution. This is a distinct charge from the primary offense and is typically less serious than the principal offense.
The accessory must have known the main was conducting a crime and that he or she was required to help in the commission of the crime. Giving a criminal material or emotional support fits this description. Omission to act might occur if someone fails to report a crime, although this is quite improbable.
A spouse or relative may not be prosecuted as an accessory in several states. In most cases, this exception applies only to blood relatives. The court's determination of whether or not a person is responsible will take into account the nature of any relevant relationships.
Methods for Classifying the Offense of Accessory
One of the first steps toward becoming a good citizen is learning the rules of the universe that pertain to you. The "law of accessories" is one of these rules. Anyone or any organization providing aid to another is liable to prosecution. In the United Kingdom, for instance, a person who helps a criminal avoid punishment is considered a "accessory." The repercussions might be disastrous. Some persons who have committed crimes against their own families are immune from this rule. The crime of being an accessory is usually considered a minor infraction. However, even if you're lucky, you could spend a year or two behind bars.
The law professor explaining the law of accessories should, in my opinion, answer the question "What is the law of accessories?" for the sake of transparency. A law professor has the training to unravel problems like this, so don't be put off by its apparent difficulty. My own experience tells me that mastering the rule of accessories in a weekend is not completely out of the question.
The Significance of Forming a Lawyer-Client Relationship
A lawyer's ethical duties extend to the client who retains them. As part of this process, the lawyer and client will define their respective roles and responsibilities in the partnership. Many criteria, including the specifics of the case, the nature of the legal services being offered, and the existence of any conflicts of interest, determine whether an attorney can represent you as a prospective client. At the outset of your engagement, you and your client should talk about the parameters of your representation. The next step, assuming things go well with the lawyer, is to construct a formal written engagement letter that sets forth the parameters of your working partnership.