Many North Carolina residents believe that the only people who risk being accused of a crime are the ones thought to have directly been involved in committing the criminal activity. However, this is not always so. It is possible under certain circumstances to face charges for a crime that you did not directly commit.
According to FindLaw, accomplice liability or complicity are legal terms that mean someone can be found guilty of a crime that they were alleged to have encouraged someone else to commit or to have helped someone plan for or commit. In this way, you can be considered an accomplice for a crime you did not directly commit yourself but were voluntarily and intentionally involved. For example, you may be accused of complicity in the following ways:
- Providing a way inside a building for a friend to rob
- Acting as the getaway driver after a robbery or directing someone in where to go to avoid authorities
- Loaning a weapon to a friend, knowing he or she is planning to commit a crime
- Knowing someone is intentionally harming another and failing to report the activity to authorities
Complicity is also commonly referred to as aiding and abetting. If you are accused of being complicit in a crime, you may face the same criminal penalties as the person who committed the act, including serving time in prison.
It is crucial to seek experienced counsel if you are accused of aiding and abetting a crime you did not commit. Therefore, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.