Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/ucmjdef1/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3283

Liability as a Principal Distinguished

Liability as a Principal Distinguished

Liability as a Principal Distinguished

  1. bestmilitarydefensedefenseattorneys9.47.13PMThe co-perpetrator of the offense of possession of heroin cannot be an accessory after the fact to the same offense. United States v. McCrea, 50 C.M.R. 194 (A.C.M.R. 1975).
  2. Act of principal must occur before or during the crime. If the act is after the crime, then it must have been part of an agreement or plan before commission of the offense, for the accused to be guilty as a principal rather than an accessory after the fact. See United States v. Greener, 1 M.J. 1111 (N.C.M.R. 1977) (one who is not a party to the original larceny scheme but who after the theft removes purloined goods from a cache is an accessory after the fact).

One is not an accessory after the fact if the offense is still in progress when the assistance is rendered. Even though the perpetrator of a larceny has consummated the larceny as soon as any taking occurs, others may become aiders and abettors by participating in the continuing asportation of the stolen property. United States v. Bryant, 9 M.J. 918 (C.M.R. 1980). But see United States v. Manuel, 8 M.J. 822 (A.F.C.M.R. 1979). Notwithstanding that larceny is a continuing offense, accused may be convicted of accessory after the fact when, with the intent to assist the active perpetrator avoid detention and prosecution, he advises the active perpetrator to destroy the stolen property. The purpose of the assistance is critical. If it is to secure the fruits of the crime, he is a principal, but if it is to assist the perpetrator in avoiding detection and punishment, he is an accessory after the fact.