Providing Experienced Criminal Defense

Understanding accomplice liability

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2023 | Theft & Property Crimes |

If you help someone with a crime, you may wonder if you will also face criminal charges. Unfortunately, this is not always a black-and-white question with a yes or no answer.

Most people view helping someone as a positive thing. However, there are situations when helping can result in you being arrested and charged with a crime. Knowing the difference is essential.

Accomplice liability

If the help you offer includes participating in or facilitating criminal activities, you can be charged as an accomplice. In Texas, an accomplice can face the same penalties as the principal offender.

The law defines an accomplice as someone who intentionally promotes or assists in the commission of a crime. This can range from offering logistical support, such as driving a getaway vehicle, to providing material aid like weapons or funds.

Staying within legal boundaries

Society generally encourages people to help others. However, you must remain aware of the legal parameters you should not cross. If you engage in an unlawful activity, you may face criminal charges, even if you were not the “orchestrator” of the situation.

Unfortunately, acquaintances and friends may put you in precarious situations. Because of this, it is best to know the law and ensure you do not participate in anything unlawful. A good rule is if it feels remotely wrong, it is best to walk away. After all, the legal line between innocent and criminal assistance or collaboration can be small.

While helping others is often commendable, it’s essential to understand the legal boundaries that exist. Assistance that includes unlawful activities can lead to criminal charges under Texas law. Be sure to know the difference and laws to protect yourself from prosecution.