According to criminal law, accomplice liability applies to a person who helps carry out a crime, but who does not actually commit the offense in question. Edward E. Dove, Attorney at Law, in Lexington, KY, cautions that the consequences for aiding and abetting can still be severe. To give you a sense of what it entails, he discusses how a prosecutor might prove guilt and how acting as an accomplice differs from conspiring.
Proving Accomplice Liability
Proving accomplice liability is similar to demonstrating guilt in other types of crime, as prosecutors must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the offense. However, they must also show that the accused encouraged, aided, and abetted the crime in some way and was not incidentally present.
It must also be shown that the defendant was of sound mind when the offense occurred. This can also include providing a firearm to a person, knowing it will be used to commit a crime, acting as a getaway driver, or performing certain acts to allow someone unlawful entry to a building.
Accomplice vs. Conspirator
In criminal law, there are many differences between being classed as an accomplice versus a conspirator. The latter is a person who helps another plan their offense. As such, a conspirator can be found guilty of a crime that never took place. Accomplices, on the other hand solely lend assistance to a criminal act as it occurs, and enter into the situation willingly and with full knowledge of what is being committed.
If you’ve been accused of aiding and abetting, turn to Edward E. Dove, Attorney at Law, for quality legal guidance and representation. Backed by over 30 years of experience in criminal law, he will fight to protect your rights and best interests to ensure the best possible outcome. See the full range of legal services he provides, including civil litigation, by visiting his website. You can also call (859) 252-0020 today to schedule a consultation with a Lexington lawyer.