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What Do I Do If I’m Charged With Being an Accomplice of a Criminal Offense?

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Many people mistakenly believe if they didn’t actually commit the crime, they can’t be held legally culpable. However, if the police have charged you with aiding or conspiring to commit a crime, proving otherwise may be challenging. You’ll need to have strong evidence that you had no involvement in the offense. Here’s how to seek legal support if you’ve been accused of criminal conspiracy. 

Learn About Criminal Conspiracy Laws in California 

According to California legal statutes, the offender of a crime, or the person who perpetrates it, is referred to as the “principal.” In legal terms, an “accomplice” is anyone who aided the principal in the execution of the criminal act. Many people are unaware that, even though an accomplice or co-conspirator did not technically perform the wrongful act, they may still be as liable as the principal in court, namely if the action resulted in someone being hurt or killed.

Find Out What Evidence the Prosecution Has In Their Favor 

Prosecutors must be able to prove their case beyond a shadow of a doubt to successfully obtain a conviction; this is called the burden of proof. To obtain a conviction, the burden of proof must be met or exceeded. Prosecuting attorneys need to be able to demonstrate: 

  • You broke one or more laws aiding or co-conspiring with the principal 
  • No cause for a mistaken identity defense exists 
  • You had or reasonably should have had knowledge of the illegality of your actions 

You may be able to avoid culpability by showing your own evidence that casts doubt on the evidence the prosecution brings forward against you. For example, if you weren’t with the person who committed the crime and were actually somewhere else, you may be able to prove this. Or, it’s possible that you had no knowledge of the crime being committed or any reason to suspect that a criminal offense was in progress. 

Get Legal Help From a Seasoned Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney 

Few things are more frightening than being accused of committing a crime or helping someone else commit a crime. Your future is on the line and if unsuccessful at defending yourself, you could face serious penalties including jail time and hefty fines. 

Knowledgeable Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Chad Lewin is prepared to aggressively defend your rights under California law and advocate for your best outcome. Call today for your consultation to discuss your next move at (800) 458-1488. 

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | May 14, 2021 | Criminal Defense