Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
A person who voluntarily aids the principal person responsible for committing a crime.
legal A person who is not present at a crime, but contributes to it as an assistant or instigator.
n. a second-string player who helps in the commission of a crime by driving the getaway car, providing the weapons, assisting in the planning, providing an alibi, or hiding the principal offender after the crime. Usually, the accessory is not immediately present during the crime, but must be aware that the crime is going to be committed or has been committed. Usually, an accessory’s punishment is less than that of the main perpetrator, but a tough jury or judge may find the accessory just as responsible.
Someone who intentionally helps another person commit a felony by giving advice before the crime or helping to conceal the evidence or the perpetrator. An accessory is usually not physically present during the crime. For example, hiding a robber who is being sought by the police might make you an “accessory after the fact” to a robbery.
This term has essentially the same meaning as Accomplice: a person who assists in the perpetration or commission of an offence but is not the direct cause of the Actus Reus. At common law it was possible to be an `accessory after the fact’, that is, to render assistance to offenders after the offence was committed. This meta of `accessory’ is not an `accomplice’ in the modern definition and is covered by different legislation.
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This glossary post was last updated: 26th April, 2020 | 3 Views.