Accessory After the Fact Charges in Los Angeles -California Penal Code Section 32
Someone can be charged as an accessory after a crime if they aid or assist the individual who committed a crime. In order to get somebody for an accessory after the fact, the prosecutors are going to have to able to prove that the original perpetrator actually committed a felony, and then the person who is being charged with accessory after the fact actually hid that person or aided that person some time after the crime was committed. If they can prove these things, then they can charge them with accessory after the fact and the person could be looking at a felony and time in prison or county jail.
In order to properly evaluate whether you should be charged with accessory after the fact, or whether the case should be dismissed, you need to meet with a criminal defense attorney who has handled these cases and understands the concepts that make a person guilty of accessory after the fact versus the concepts of the chain of causation being broken and the person not actually aiding or helping an individual who committed a felony. Another big issue is whether or not the person who is supposedly is aiding or helping and is an accessory after the fact, whether that person knows that the perpetrator of the original crime actually committed a crime. If the person lets him in the house for example, but has no idea whether or not they committed a crime, then obviously they cannot be guilty of the crime to accessory after the fact.
In order to defend an accessory after the fact case in one of the LA courts, you are going to have to be able to argue that you had no idea that the person who they are claiming you helped committed any type of a felony offense. Another argument is that you were under a stressful situation and you felt compelled or even threatened to help the person. Sometimes, you’re at your home, you’re in your car – you’re somewhere and you’re minding you own business – and somebody puts you in a very difficult position because they’ve committed a crime and now they’re asking you to help them. If that person is armed with a weapon or is acting in a strange way and you feel threatened in any way, just because you helped them doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be charged and convicted of accessory after the fact. So, there’s a number of different defenses that can be utilized in these accessory after the fact cases, but it’s going to spin and be determined on the facts of your particular case. Not all cases are the same, so what you have to do is sit down with an attorney. Give them all the information related to your case without omitting anything or putting any spin on it and let them help you determine whether or not they’ve got a good case against you or not.
What is your Best Strategy if You’re Charged with Accessory After the Fact?
Your best strategy is to sit down with a criminal defense attorney who has handled these cases and had a successful result. Also, if your attorney knows a local courthouse where the case is pending, has dealt with the judges there, the prosecutors there and knows and understands their tendencies on these types of cases, that would put you at a huge advantage. If there are issues with the prosecutors proving the accessory after the fact case, a lot of times if these cases can’t be dismissed, they may be able to be mitigated down to a lesser charge, get you probation, see if you can earn a misdemeanor in the case and at some point, get the matter off your record.
In order to put yourself in the best position to get your matter dismissed or mitigated down to something less, you’re going to need to assist your attorney with getting character letters, and obviously giving your version of events. A lot of times the police do not get your story when it comes to these accessory after the fact cases and it’s up to your criminal defense attorney to give them all that information. In order for them to properly do that, you’re obviously going to have to give them information – let them know what happened so they can properly represent you and get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.
Categorised in: Criminal Defense