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Elements of an accomplice

If a Texas resident is said to be complicit in a crime, it means that he or she helped or played a role in the commission of the felony or misdeameanor. In some cases, an accomplice may face the same penalties as the person who actually committed the crime. This is generally true if a person encouraged an illegal act to take place or didn't do anything to prevent it from happening.

There are three elements that a prosecutor must prove to show that an individual is liable as an accomplice to a crime. First, a crime must actually take place. This differs from a conspiracy charge in which penalties may be levied even if the crime was never carried out. Next, it must be shown that aid, counsel or encouragement was given to the person who then went through with a criminal act.

Finally, the accomplice must have the mental capacity to understand what he or she did was wrong. There are several ways in which an individual may be an accessory or accomplice to a crime. For instance, he or she may deactivate an alarm system or intentionally take someone to a remote location where that person will be robbed or assaulted. Knowingly providing a weapon to someone who then commits an illegal act may also make that person an accomplice.

Those who are facing these types of charges may wish to have the assistance of a criminal defense attorney when attempting to combat them. One defense may be that an individual is not mentally competent enough to understand what he or she did. Legal counsel may also argue that an individual assisted a criminal against his or her will by threat or implication of force.

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