Tennessee Accessory After the Fact

If you have been charged as an accessory after the fact in Tennessee, the attorneys at the law offices of Baker Associates will employ powerful defense tactics on your behalf.

Our experience can help you understand the complex legal issues when persons are charged as parties to crime. By investigating issues in such cases like your knowledge of the underlying crime we can often find weaknesses and inconsistencies in the government's case that help protect your legal rights. As a former prosecutor, Joseph A. Baker has the knowledge and experience necessary to properly defend those accused of accessory after the fact.

What is Accessory After the Fact?

Essentially, an accessory after the fact is a person who is not present during the commission of the crime, but afterward renders some assistance to the offenders with knowledge that the crime has been committed. Such assistance can take the form of warning offenders of impending apprehension by police or merely providing shelter.

To illustrate the rule, let's look at an example. Say Peter decided to rob a local market. He needed help with the caper, so he enlisted Paul as muscle and Mary as the get-away driver. After the crime, they would hide out at Luke's place. Luke knew about the crime and wanted a cut.

If Peter, Paul and Mary are tried and convicted, Peter would be charged as a principal to the crime, and Paul and Mary would be charged as second degree principals. Luke would be charged as an accessory after the fact because he:

1) knew that the principals had committed a felony (armed robbery) and

2) hindered arrest by harboring the offenders in his home.

Key Issues: What the State Must Prove

The State must prove two mental states beyond a reasonable doubt. First, the State must show that the person charged knew about the underlying felony when he or she assisted the criminals. Second, the State must show that the person charged acted with the intent to hinder the arrest, trial, conviction or punishment of the offender.

Since accessory after the fact is derivative of an underlying felony, the State must also introduce evidence that the principals have been tried and convicted of the underlying crime. Therefore, if John and Mary have been found innocent of robbing a bank or found guilty of a misdemeanor, Luke cannot be convicted as an accessory after the fact.

Moreover, one cannot be convicted as accessory after the fact unless the felony is complete; therefore, any aid or assistance rendered during the crime to assist the felon to escape will not make such person an accessory after the fact. For example, if Matt got Jim to help him lure Amy to a discreet location and Matt later killed Amy, Jim could not be charged with accessory after the fact based solely on evidence that Jim helped to lure Amy. The felony has to be complete before a person can do an act constituting the crime of accessory after the fact.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

In order to strengthen the position of clients charged with accessory after the fact, attorney Joseph A. Baker and his associates receive the most up-to-date training available. By attending numerous seminars and colleges, including the prestigious National Criminal Defense College, each attorney at law offices of Baker Associates will fight to see that your rights are protected in court.

If you have been accused of accessory after the fact, contact attorney Joseph A Baker and his associates to discuss your case.

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Knox County
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800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
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Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

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Johnson City Criminal Defense Attorney Disclaimer: The accessory after the fact or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a criminal attorney or defense lawyer at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.


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