5 Possible Defenses For Some Accused Of Being An Accomplice

Posted on: 29 May 2020

One of the scariest possibilities in criminal law is the prospect of being charged with an offense even though you feel you didn't do anything. In particular, being charged with an accomplice is a real possibility. Let's look at 5 possible defenses a criminal defense attorney might recommend under such circumstances.

Lack of a Criminal Mindset

This is a defense that possible for all parties involved in a case. Essentially, the defendant acknowledges that certain actions did happen, but the criminal law attorney asserts they were not done with the intent of breaking the law or doing harm.

Such a defense largely hinges on the prosecution's ability to prove what your state of mind might have been prior to the alleged offense. If there are texts communicating with the accused perpetrator about the crime, that can be problematic. This is especially the case if any doubts about the legality of what was planned were expressed. On the other hand, this defense puts pressure on the prosecution to meet its burden of proof.

You Weren't Involved

Suppose, for example, that the perpetrator had two friends with extremely similar-looking cars. Unfortunately for you, your car happens to be one of the two vehicles in question. Let's further suppose a vehicle matching the description of yours was seen leaving the scene of the crime.

The argument here is fairly simple. You weren't involved. It's not your job to figure out what really happened, but it is the prosecution's job in this example to clearly prove that your car was the one involved in the offense.

No Statute Applies in Your Case

In criminal law, some offenses have what's called accomplice liability and others don't. Notably, accomplice liability can go as high as being charged with the crime as if you committed, a punishment reserved for folks who've assisted in committing felony violent and money crimes. If there isn't a statue that explicitly says accomplices are liable, then you're probably in the clear.


Suppose you were actively involved with something right up until you realized it was a crime. In this scenario, withdrawing your support at the first opportunity would give you a better chance of not being convicted of a crime.


In extreme cases, usually ones involving serious threats of physical violence, it may be possible to claim duress. This means you were worried you or someone you care about would be hurt or killed if you didn't go along with the crime. Duress is an affirmative defense so you'll need contemporaneous proof that you were afraid. Visit a website like https://dlplawyers.com/ to learn more.