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What You Should Know About Accomplice Liability

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

February 3, 2022

If you are involved in a criminal offense in any way, here’s what to know about your criminal liability.

What is an Accomplice?

First, it’s important to understand what an accomplice is. An accomplice intentionally helps the main perpetrator commit a criminal offense. Whatever actions the accomplice takes are to help the perpetrator commit a crime. However, this is different from being a co-conspirator. Co-conspirators work together on the planning process and each play a main role in the crime. An accomplice serves more as an assistant to a crime than an equal.

Accomplices may:

  • Serve as a ‘lookout’
  • Drive a getaway car
  • Give the main perpetrator tools to commit a crime

Accomplices do not need to be present at the scene of the criminal offense to be charged if it can be proven they acted in some way that helped facilitate the crime.

How Florida Penalizes Accomplices

In Florida, accomplices can be held to the same level of criminal responsibility as the main perpetrator. This is especially important to know in cases where things may get out of hand and a more serious crime is committed than what was intended.
For example, if an accomplice assisted by serving as a lookout for a burglary, and the burglary ended with someone being shot and killed, the accomplice could also be charged with that murder despite not being present or pulling the trigger. In the most severe cases, accomplices can be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Accomplice Criminal Defense in Florida

Sometimes, when around the wrong crowd, people become engaged in criminal activities they otherwise wouldn’t. If you were an accomplice to a crime in Florida, it’s crucial that you obtain criminal defense. As we have explained, you are at risk of facing the same charges as the main perpetrator.

At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we handle a wide variety of case types. If you were an accomplice to a violent, white-collar, or drug-related crime, we’re here to help. We want to secure you your freedom and a second chance. Give us a call at (386) 693-1637 to get started.