Accessories Versus Principals to Crimes in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, there are two roles when it comes to criminal acts – accessories and principals. These roles have different definitions, but both are against the law.
Who Is Considered a Principal to a Crime?
A principal to a crime is someone who committed the crime or helped commit the crime even if they were not there in person. Things like letting a criminal borrow your car to commit an illegal act or driving them to the scene of the crime are both considered principal offenses.
Who Is Considered an Accessory to a Crime?
An accessory to a crime is someone who helps a criminal after a crime has been committed. Letting someone “lay low” with you or helping a criminal leave the state are both grounds for being considered an accessory. These definitions only apply to crimes that are felonies. Misdemeanors cannot have accessories.
Punishments for Accessories to Crimes in Oklahoma
If you are charged as accessory to a crime in Oklahoma, your punishment depends on the punishment of the principal. If the principal’s sentence is longer than four years, your sentence will be half of theirs. If their sentence is shorter than four years, your sentence will be up to one year. The punishments for being an accessory to murder are more specific. For second-degree murder, the sentence for accessories is five to 25 years. For first-degree murder, the sentence is five to 45 years.
When a friend is in trouble, your first reaction might be to help. Unfortunately, this can land you in prison just as easily as if you committed the crime yourself. If you think you could be considered an accessory to a crime, reach out to the Edge Law Firm today for a free case review.