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Contributing to a crime could result in charges

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Posted on August 25, 2016

Illinois residents don’t necessarily have to commit crimes to be charged with offenses. Those who participate in criminal actions by aiding others can be deemed complicit. Accomplices differ from conspirators because instead of simply helping someone plan a crime or agreeing to criminal undertakings, accomplices actually take actions that help perpetrators do something illegal.

Prosecutors can charge someone as an accomplice for numerous actions deemed to contribute to an offense. For instance, a person who doesn’t actually use a weapon for wrongdoing yet gives it to another individual with the knowledge that the recipient intends to do something illegal with it could be an accomplice to any criminal act that subsequently takes place. Similarly, people who help robbers escape crime scenes or disable security systems on their behalf might face charges.

To convict someone as an accomplice, prosecutors have to prove several things. The accused individual must have knowingly aided in the crime and been of sound mind to make the decision, and another person must have committed the act. Accused individuals can also be convicted without having provided material aid. Directing someone else to commit a crime or egging them on could both be grounds for conviction.

Being charged as an accomplice could involve serious ramifications. Those who get convicted may face prison sentences and significant fines. Severe crimes might be associated with more extreme consequences. It could also be hard to prove that a defendant didn’t know that a criminal planned on committing an act such as murder or some other felony if they’ve already been established as an accomplice to a lesser act. Talking to an attorney may make it easier to structure an effective criminal defense.