Criminal acts may be committed by one or more individuals. People who participate in a crime with the main perpetrator of the crime can also be charged for the crime. They may need to be present in the court when the criminal case is being tried.
There are four degrees of participation defined by the common law depending on the extent of participation in the crime.
Four types of participation in criminal activity are:
- The principal in the first degree is the individual who directly commits the crime when two or more people are responsible for the crime.
- The principal in the second degree is the person who aids or abets the crime by being present with the principal in the first degree when the crime was committed.
- An accessory before the crime is the individual who instigates or counsels the principal in the first degree.
- Accessory after the crime is the person who aids the principal after he commits the crime to obstruct justice.
In most of the states in the US, the first three types of participation are treated as the principal in the first degree. Only accessory after the crime as different statutes.
Besides these, there are different ways in which there can be more than one person involved in a crime.
A criminal conspiracy is when two or more people commit a criminal activity together.
Incitement or solicitation is when an individual urges another to commit a crime. This could be soliciting a bribe or solicitation for immoral activities, etc. Incitement or solicitation is also a punishable offense in US law.
This is a type of crime where the outcome of the criminal activity may not be as desired by the individual performing the activity. An attempt is considered an offense if the preparation for the crime comes very close to the consummation of the crime but fails.
Criminal laws in the US are very strict and penalties and punishments are given to criminals based on the seriousness of the crime. In case criminal charges are proved against an individual who may have participated intentionally or intentionally in the crime.
However, in a criminal case, the prosecutors are required to prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. If the crime is proved, then all those who have participated in the crime are penalized.
An accomplished criminal lawyer can help defend the accused in a criminal case. The criminal defense attorney may represent more than one defendant if more people are responsible for the crime.
Johnson & Autrey Law firm offers the services of experienced criminal lawyers in North Dakota and Minnesota. Our lawyers are licensed to practice in State, Federal, and Judicial courts. Our criminal lawyers are well-experienced and have great communication skills.
The lawyers at Johnson & Autrey Law firm have the expertise in defending one or more people accused of a crime. We prepare a clear defense strategy based on the facts collected and the nature of the crime.