In Florida, it’s a crime to assist anybody who has been involved in committing a crime. Aiding and abetting as a charge can’t take place unless the crime has been affirmed as having taken place. The person accused of assisting a criminal is called an accessory, and doesn’t actually have to be a witness to the crime.
Conviction can only take place if the prosecution is able to prove the accessory had sufficient knowledge that the offense had been committed by the person who was being helped. Penalties are harsh for aiding and abetting a person who has committed an offense. If you face a charge as an accessory in Florida you will need experienced Miami criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes Esq., to defend you.
Penalties for aiding and abetting
If you are found guilty of being an accessory, the penalty imposed on you will be dependent on how severe the original crime happens to be. If you assist somebody who faces a capital offense charge you will be up for a first degree felony charge. If you are convicted, a judge could impose a combination of a number of different penalties unless under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code a minimum mandatory sentence is required:
Penalties could be as follows:
• a prison term not exceeding 30 years;
• a period of probation not exceeding 30 years;
• a fine not exceeding $10,000.
For anyone who helps a person found guilty of a life or first degree felony he or she will be charged with a second degree felony. If there isn’t a requirement for a mandatory minimum sentence the accessory could face any of the following penalties:
• a prison term not exceeding 15 years;
• a period of probation not exceeding 15 years;
• a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Anyone who assists someone accused of a second or third degree felony will face a crime of being an accessory of the third degree. If a mandatory minimum sentence isn’t required, if guilty a judge may impose any of these penalties:
• a prison term not exceeding 5 years;
• a period of probation not exceeding 5 years;
• a fine not exceeding $5,000.
If a person assists someone accused of a third degree felony the charge will be a first degree misdemeanor which could end up with the following penalties:
• a 1 year jail term
• a 1 year period of probation
• a fine not exceeding $1,000.
In Florida you can’t face a charge as an accessory after the fact if you are a parent, child, spouse, sibling grandparent or grandchild of the suspect but if you are an aunt, uncle or cousin you might face a charge of aiding and abetting. Typically, anybody could face an accessory after the fact charge if the felony charge of the accused you helped involved child abuse, neglect or death.
The term “aiding and abetting” under Florida law is not always clear. If you are facing a charge as an accessory to a crime committed by someone else you shouldn’t defend yourself but you should seek help from an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes, who has the knowledge and experience to mount a solid defense on your behalf. Ring Albert Quirantes at 305-644-1800 today.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.