Imagine crimes which attach to every other crime we have in our statutes in Colorado. Imagine crimes which are largely dependent on the crime committed by another person. Imagine crimes which are proven by police with the assistance of a former friend of yours – those crimes are Complicity and Accessory to a Crime. They can occur across Colorado and be very surprising when the police show up to question and charge you.
The Definition of Complicity in Arapahoe County:
“a person is legally accountable as principal for the behavior of another constituting a criminal offense if, with the intent to promote or facilitate the commission of the offense, he or she aids, abets, advises, or encourages the other person in planning or committing the offense.”
Complicity is located at C.R.S. 18-1-603. A good summary of this crime is that you will be charged the same as the person committing the underlying offense if you help them commit it in any way. You might help them in planning the crime by taking pictures, telling them where a future victim hangs out, or make reservations on an airplane for them to get away after they commit a crime. All of these actions give rise to charges of Complicity.
The person accused of Complicity in Douglas County does not have to be present when the crime occurs. So, Complicity involves assistance of any type before the crime is committed. Interestingly, with the broad definition of Complicity, you can be charged if you help out months or years in advance of the crime. You don’t even have to be sure that the person you are offering help to will actually commit the crime.
A Closely Related Crime: Accessory in Jefferson County
The person charged with Accessory to a Crime in Jefferson County will be accused of offering help AFTER the crime, while the person accused of Complicity is accused of helping before the crime. Examples of Accessory to a certain crime would be hiding someone until police stop looking for them, loaning them a car when they come by asking for it, or giving them help changing their appearance – such as helping them color their hair or giving them new clothes to wear to avoid detection by police. Like Complicity, Accessory is so broadly worded you can easily be charged for giving any assistance.
The definition of Accessory to a Crime for Adams County crimes is located at C.R.S. 18-8-105, and states: a person intends to hinder, delay, or prevent the discovery, detection, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another for the commission of a crime.
If you are accused of Complicity or Accessory to a crime, never speak to police or answer their questions. Even though they will make you many promises and play mind games to get you to talk, you will be helping them convict you. Instead of being fooled by their niceness, use your constitutional right to remain silent. After that, call our criminal defense attorneys at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.