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Los Angeles Accessory After the Fact Lawyers
If you’re being charged as an accessory after the fact in Los Angeles, that charge is being brought under California Penal Code 32. You would be accused of assisting somebody else avoid the consequences of a crime that he or she committed. The prosecution would be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Intentionally kept, hid or otherwise assisted a person who committed felony
- Were aware of the fact that he or she committed a felony or had been so charged or convicted
- Helped him or to avoid arrest, prosecution or punishment regardless of your knowledge of the circumstances
If a prosecutor fails to prove any element of the crime, the case fails in its entirety.
A person who is charged with being an accessory after the fact can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. In deciding how he or she should be charged, a prosecutor will look at:
- The type of felony that was committed, and how serious it was;
- The nature and extent of the aid that was rendered
- Any prior criminal history that the accused person might have
A felony conviction for being an accessory after the fact is punishable by a sentence of up to three years in prison and a fine not to exceed $5,000. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to a 364 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $5,000.
There are several defenses for people who have been charged as being an accessory after the fact. Those can include but not be limited to:
This might apply if you had a reasonable belief that the person you assisted would harm or kill you if you didn’t render him or her assistance. Intent is a critical element of proof for this crime.
No felony was committed
A charge of being an accessory after the fact can only be brought if a felony was charged. If the person who you allegedly helped committed a misdemeanor, the law doesn’t permit you to be charged with being an accessory after the fact. If his or her felony charge was plea bargained down to a misdemeanor from a felony, it’s likely that your felony charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor too.
If you didn’t know that the person who you helped had committed a felony, you can’t be found guilty of being an accessory after the fact. Knowledge is a pivotal element of the crime.
If you’ve been charged with being an accessory after the fact in or around Los Angeles, you need a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation, and we’ll discuss all of your possible defenses. Prosecutors and judges respect us. We’ll give you the best possible defense you can get. We routinely obtain dismissals and not guilty verdicts for our clients, and when it’s not possible to get those, we’ve been able assist our clients in entering very favorable plea agreements. You want lawyers who are dedicated and work hard, because after you’re arrested, you’ll need every legal advantage that’s available to you.