Accessory After the Fact


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
defends people accused of or charged with
Accessory After the Fact.

If someone commits a crime and you help them only after the crime was committed, you can potentially be charged with Accessory After the Fact.  Give the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers of SLG Law a call to discuss your particular case.

What is Accessory After the Fact?

The charge of Accessory After the Fact is typically brought against friends or extended family of a person that has committed a crime.  A common scenario would be if a cousin or friend called you up and asked you to hide them from law enforcement because they had a warrant, or asked you to hide a gun or stolen property, or asked you to lie to law enforcement.  Not only could you be charged with Accessory After the Fact, you also could be charged with other crimes as well, like tampering with evidence or possession of stolen property (theft).  

Under this statute, that State must prove that the underlying crime you are helping the person with must be a felony, you have to assist them in some way, and you did it to help that person get away with it.  Also, it doesn't apply if you are the person's spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or sibling.  However, you could possible be charged with other offenses by helping out one of these family members.  For example, you could be charged with tampering with evidence if you take evidence of a crime.  You could be charged making a false statement to law enforcement.  It depends on the facts of the case, but there are many different statutes that could cover helping someone who has committed a crime.  

Accessory After the Fact is defined in Florida Statute Section 777.03.  To prove that you are guilty of Accessory After the Fact, the State must prove:
  • A felony was committed by someone, and
  • after the felony was committed, you maintained, assisted, or aided or attempted to aid that person, and
  • you did so with the intent that that person would avoid or escape detection, arrest, trial, or punishment, and
  • you are not related to that person by blood or marriage as husband, wife, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister. 

What if I was the victim of domestic violence and I'm charged with Accessory to my abuser? 

It is a defense if you are charged with Accessory After the Fact to any of the following crimes and the person that committed the crime you are charged with being an accessory to was your abuser:

  • Child abuse
  • Neglect of a child
  • Aggravated child abuse
  • Aggravated manslaughter of a child under 18 years of age
  • Murder of a child under 18 years of age.
So, for example, if the police charge you with accessory after the fact for helping a boyfriend evade prosecution for child abuse, your criminal defense attorney may raise the fact that the boyfriend abused you as a defense.  Similar to a duress defense, the legislature wanted to protect victims of abuse from being convicted for helping their abusers out of fear.  

What if I tried to help someone but they still got caught?

Even if you were unsuccessful in helping the person avoid or escape detection, arrest, trial or punishment, you still can be convicted of accessory after the fact. 


What are the potential sentences for Accessory After the Fact?

The maximum possible sentence for Accessory After the Fact depends on the seriousness of the underlying crime.  For example, accessory after the fact to grand theft of $300 carries a maximum possible sentence of one (1) year, while accessory after the fact to First Degree Murder carries a maximum possible penalty of up to thirty (30) years.  

Accessory After the Fact to a Capital Felony
Up to 30 years

Accessory After the Fact to a Life Felony or First Degree Felony
Up to 15 years

After the Fact to a Second Degree Felony
Up to 5 years

Accessory After the Fact to a Third Degree Felony
(with sentencing guideline level of 3 through 10)
Up to 5 years

Accessory After the Fact to a Third Degree Felony
(with a sentencing guideline level of 1 or 2)
Up to 1 year in jail


If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Accessory After the Fact,

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!
Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)

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