Complicity and Conspiracy
Aug. 26, 2016
An accomplice to a Florida crime is as guilty as the actual perpetrator, and they both face the same punishment. Complicity, as well as aiding and abetting, are other terms for this. Conspiracy is not the same as complicity. This term described the planning by two or more people of a crime to be committed in the future.
To be an accomplice, people must purposely and of their own free will aid in committing the crime or support it in some way. Sometimes, failing to stop a crime may make someone an accomplice. An example of complicity is setting someone up to be robbed, such as telling them to go to a certain place where the accomplice knows the robber is located. Someone who is aware that a person plans to commit a crime and gives that person a gun could be deemed an accomplice.
A conspirator takes on a more active role than an accomplice in some cases. Conspiracy requires two or more parties who are planning to commit a crime at some point. Unlike an accomplice, a person can be found guilty of conspiracy even if the crime never takes place. If it does, however, a person could be charged with both conspiracy and either with the crime itself or complicity depending upon the role that was subsequently taken.
If someone has been charged with complicity, it could have long-term consequences if a conviction is obtained. As a result, people in this position may want to meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in order to construct a strategy to combat the charges. An affirmative defense that could be used in some situations is that the defendant was coerced or forced by another to commit the act that is the subject of the charge.