It’s a common misconception that if a person didn’t commit an actual crime, they can’t be considered legally responsible for any part of it. However, you could be charged with conspiring to commit the crime, and proving your innocence can be tough. You’ll need strong evidence that illustrates how you were uninvolved in the incident. Here’s how to seek legal support if you’ve been accused of assisting a person who was breaking the law.
Find Out How You’ll Be Treated as a Criminal Accomplice Under the Law
In legal terminology, directly committing a crime means that you are the “principal” of the act. Anyone that helps is considered a conspirator, co-conspirator, or an accomplice. Often, accomplices are considered just as criminally responsible as the principal of the offense and may face the same charges. If someone died or was seriously hurt in the commission of the crime, this is even more likely.
Understand What the Prosecution Will Be Bringing Forward to Prove Their Argument
Prosecutors are responsible for bringing forward evidence to prove you aided the principal and it’s important to understand how they plan on meeting that burden of proof. Certain elements will need to be proven by prosecutors to successfully convict you of criminal conspiracy, such as:
- Your behavior was indeed criminal under the law
- Your identity was not misjudged or mistaken; it was you that acted as an accomplice
- You had full knowledge of your actions being illegal, or you reasonably should have been expected to know
You should take the initiative to gather as much evidence as you can that directly challenges the evidence that prosecuting attorneys are attempting to use against you. If you weren’t with the person who committed the crime, you may have proof like a receipt or the testimony of a friend who can say you were with them.
Another potential option is to specifically show how you would not have had knowledge of the crime being committed or any reason to suspect a criminal offense was in progress.
Don’t Wait to Get Legal Help From an Experienced Defense Lawyer in New York
New York criminal defense attorney Scott Cerbin is an aggressive ally in the courtroom; something anyone charged with being a criminal accomplice needs. When your reputation is on the line and the pressure is mounting, you need someone on your side. Contact Attorney Cerbin today to get more information or to schedule a consult at 718-596-1829.