Did you know that acting as an accessory to a crime is a crime itself? You can learn more about the accessory crime on this page.
What is Accessory?
The first thing you must know is that there is no accessory or accomplice crime in the state of Connecticut. However, you could be prosecuted on the federal level. An accessory to a crime or an accomplice is a legal term for being found criminally liable for the acts of others. (If found as an accessory or an accomplice you are guilty of the crime as charged. Accomplice to a Class B felony, guilty of a Class B felony).
Liability for the actions of another occurs when:
- Acting with the mental state required to a commit a crime;
- A person solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or;
- Intentionally aids another person to engage in conduct which constitutes an offense.
Penalties for Accessory
You face criminally liability as if you actually committed the crime yourself if you are found to be an accessory to the crime. Therefore, as an accessory to burglary, you are punished as if you committed the burglary yourself.
Lastly, there is an entirely independent portion of criminal liability dealing with a firearm. A person who sells, delivers or provides any firearm (19 of section 53a-3) to another person to engage in conduct which constitutes an offense knowing that such other person intends to commit a crime with the firearm will be criminally liable as if they committed the crime with a firearm themselves.
Guilty of Murder
The following are not defenses to criminal liability for murder in 53a-8:
- That the person who actually committed the crime did not face prosecution or conviction.
- Such other person is not guilty of the offense in question because such other person lacks criminal responsibility or legal capacity or awareness.
- That the offense in question can happen only by a particular class or classes of persons and the person acting as an accomplice does not belong to such class or classes, and, thus, is legally incapable of committing the offense in an individual capacity.
Defenses to Accomplice Liability
In any prosecution in which the criminal liability of the defendant is based upon the conduct of another person it shall be a defense that the defendant terminated their complicity prior to commission of the offense:
- Wholly depriving it of effectiveness in the commission of the offense and
- Manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of their criminal purpose.
Help With an Accessory Charge
Being an accessory or an accomplice in a crime can be a serious charge! If you still have questions about these charges, it is in your best interest to contact a criminal defense lawyer. These lawyers’ experience and knowledge means that they can give you the answers that you need.