Did you know that you can be charged with a crime you did not even technically commit? Many people are charged with a crime as an accomplice. This means that they are “on the hook” for commission of a crime even if they weren’t the ones who committed the principle crime.
For example, under Washington law a person can be charged as an accomplice for Burglary in the First Degree if they drove another to a house to commit a theft inside and a gun was used, even if that person never got out of the car or entered the house. That person who didn’t do anything but drive the car is criminally liable for the same exact punishment as the person who actually committed the burglary!
Rendering Criminal Assistance charges involve the defendant either protecting another individual from police or assisting in committing a crime. Fortunately, defenses exist. Perhaps the co-defendant was a relative. Lapses in judgment or lack of intent are also factors.
A person is guilty of Rendering Criminal Assistance in the First Degree if he or she renders criminal assistance to a person who has committed or is being sought for murder in the first degree or any class A felony. This charge is a Class B Felony.
A person is guilty of Rendering Criminal Assistance in the Second Degree if he or she renders criminal assistance to a person who has committed or is being sought for a class B or class C felony or to someone being sought for violation of parole, probation, or community supervision. This crime is a gross misdemeanor.
A person is guilty of Rendering Criminal Assistance in the Third Degree if he or she renders criminal assistance to a person who has committed a gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor. The crime is a simple misdemeanor.
Please contact my office If you or someone you care about faces Rendering Criminal Assistance charges in Skagit County or Whatcom County. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.