You may have the firm impression that the only way a person can receive criminal charges in Knoxville is for them to commit a crime. What you probably do not realize is it is possible for you to end up in legal trouble for aiding others during the commission of a crime. The term for this is complicity. If law enforcement deems your actions as complicit, you could end up being charged as an accomplice.
It is important for you to understand how your actions could make you an alleged accomplice. Review the following information to gain a better understanding of how complicity often leads to criminal charges.
What is an accomplice?
Accomplices help or encourage offenders to commit crimes. They do not necessarily know they are acting in a criminal manner. For example, if your friend robs a bank and gets in your car, law enforcement would charge you as an accomplice because your actions contributed to the causation of a crime.
What does the prosecutor have to prove to get a conviction?
The prosecutor does not care if you were not aware of your friend’s intent, plans and criminal activity. Your ignorance of the matter is not necessarily enough for you to avoid a conviction. If the prosecutor can prove you willingly provided verbal or physical aid to your friend and those actions contributed in some way to the commission of the crime, you could end up behind bars.
The penalties for an accomplice charge range in severity and are highly dependent on several factors, such as the type of crime you allegedly were complicit to and if you already have a criminal record.
The ramifications of having an accomplice charge can be severe. You could end up spending several years in jail and ordered to pay restitution. You also have to deal with some of the negative stereotypes of having a criminal record that can affect your employment, housing opportunities and eligibility for government benefit programs.