Illinois residents should understand the concept of complicity and how it can affect them if they are associated with the commission of a crime. Complicity, aiding and abetting, or assisting or encouraging someone to perform a crime is illegal even though the accomplice did not actually take part in its commission. In fact, an accomplice can be subject to the same punishment as the actual perpetrator.
Complicity should not be confused with conspiracy. Conspiracy refers to an individual actively planning a future crime with one or more people. It is a crime regardless of whether the act ever takes place, whereas accomplice liability requires the actual commission of a crime.
Providing an individual with a firearm while knowing the individual planned to commit a crime is an example of complicity. Other examples include an individual providing robbers with easy access to his or her place of workplace in order for them to steal items or purposely placing people in a place where they will be a victim of a crime.
The court has to be able to demonstrate that accomplice liability is applicable to a crime by proving the presence of certain factors. This includes showing that the crime was performed by someone else, the alleged accomplice urged on the other individual during the progress of the crime and that the accomplice had the mental capacity to understand what he or she was doing.
An individual who is accused of being complicit in a crime is facing a grave situation. The accomplice and the actual perpetrator of the crime can face the same charges and punishments. A criminal defense attorney should be consulted if an individual is accused of accomplice liability.