Question by Dan V: What crimes can you be an accessory in and what crime’s does accessory not apply?
For example, can you be an accessory to rape?
Can you be an accessory to arson?
Can you be an accessory to check kiting?
Where do they draw the magical line regarding what crimes can have accessories to them and which don’t? Why can certain crimes be committed and only 1 individual is responsible even if other aided in covering it up after the fact?
I don’t understand how they can ethically make a distinction among differing crimes, can you help me understand?
Mainly I’m interested in crimes that don’t have an accessory penalty attached and the reasoning.
Answer by FVhere
A person can be an accessory to any crime. Like all crimes “intent” is the deciding factor in how to charge. Some states break it down into finer statutes, like “Adding and Abetting” but a person can be an accessory to rape,arson, bad checks etc. Different states have different “standards’ to meet and it may not be called “accessory’ in your state but something else. A very simple example; Person A is going to print his own money, tells person B what he’s doing and he needs a special ink. B sells him the ink and never see’s him again. B is an “accessory before the fact.” A needs ink, tells B what he needs it for, B says “what a great idea” gives him the ink and helps him pass the bills. B can now be charged as a conspirator. B’s intent in the first case was to sell ink, make money and forget about it, knowing it was illegal but basically didn’t care. B’s intent in the second case was to sell ink, make money and continue to make more money by actively participating in the crime. Intent is the deciding factor in how to charge a case,
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