If you've been charged as an accessory to a crime in California, you may be wondering what comes next. In this blog post, we'll give you some background on how these types of cases are typically handled, so that you can better understand what to expect. You'll also learn about your rights and what options are available to you if you're facing these charges.
What Is an Accessory to a Crime?
In California, you may be considered an accessory if you had any role in helping to commit a crime. You can also be considered an accessory if you simply knew about the crime but did not alert authorities. In addition, accessory charges can be divided into two different types: accessories before the fact and accessories after the fact.
What Is the Difference Between an Accessory Before the Fact and an Accessory After the Fact?
If you find yourself facing criminal charges in California as an accessory to a crime, it is important to distinguish between an “accessory before the fact” and an “accessory after the fact” charge.
Accessories before the fact are charged before or at the same time as those who committed the underlying crime. An accessory before the fact is someone who helped those who committed the underlying crime prepare to commit the crime. In many cases, these individuals even assist in helping to plan the underlying crime.
On the other hand, accessories after the fact are charged only after they knew that a crime was committed. An accessory after the fact is someone who aids in covering up a crime or harboring a criminal after the crime has been committed.
What Factors Can Affect the Consequences You Could Face if You’re Charged with Being an Accessory to a Crime in California?
If you’ve been charged with being an accessory to a crime in California, it is important to know that the consequences you could face usually depend on a few factors. Primarily, if you are being charged as an adult or a juvenile. This is because minors tend to face lighter punishments if they’re convicted of committing the same crimes as their adult counterparts.
Additionally, the severity of the underlying offense—such as whether it is categorized as a felony or misdemeanor—will be taken into account when determining the punishments you could face if you’re convicted of being an accessory to a crime. In addition, pleas and other strategies may be able to reduce the legal repercussions you could face.
Set Up a Free Consultation with Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers in Santa Barbara Today
Being charged as an accessory to a crime can be a stressful and intimidating experience. It is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide you through the legal system and protect your rights during the proceedings.
At Appel & Morse, our criminal defense team has an in-depth knowledge of California criminal law. This enables us to provide our clients with much-needed insight and a wide range of options to resolve their case effectively and achieve the best possible outcome for their situation. Don't face accessory charges in California without consulting with Appel & Morse first—it could make all the difference in how your case concludes.
For a free consultation with our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Santa Barbara, give us a call at (805) 467-6060 or contact us online today.