An accused can sometimes be subjected to a criminal charge notwithstanding the fact that he or she was not an active participant in the offense. The customary scenario for this type of situation is a charge of accomplice or conspiracy. Our criminal attorneys are here to assist you if you have been charged with such an offense. A criminal lawyer from our firm is available to answer your questions, discuss each defense available and help you through the criminal process.
The criminal code of New Jersey establishes standards for accountability for not only an individual’s own conduct but also the actions of others in certain instances. In this regard, an individual is responsible for the conduct of another where they are “legally accountable” for their actions.
The law provides that an individual is legally accountable for a criminal act of another where:
- The defendant causes an innocent individual to commit the criminal act;
- The defendant is an accomplice in the commission of the crime; or
- The defendant conspires with another to commit the criminal offense.
An individual is an “accomplice” if he promotes or facilitates the commission of a criminal offense by soliciting another to commit the offense, assists or agrees to assist the third party in the commission of the offense, or fails to undertake effort to prevent a criminal offense where he has a legal duty to do so.
Individuals can sometimes have second thoughts and attempt to terminate participation in a crime. In order for termination to be a defense, the renunciation must be complete and voluntary. The individual must completely abandon his effort to commit the offense and/or prevent others from committing the offense.
A criminal defense lawyer from our law firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, is available to speak to you toll-free at 1-866-450-8301 about this subject.