Recently, Massachusetts State Police reported the conclusion of a six-month investigation, “Operation Golden Ticket” which led to 171 counts being brought against five individuals including breaking and entering, conspiracy, larceny, and receiving stolen motor vehicles. The men being charged committed offenses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Led by a man referred to by law enforcement as “Willy Wonka,” the offenses involved 17 burglaries and 12 car thefts with more than $300,000 of items being stolen. While three of the men have since been apprehended, two of the suspects still remain at large. If you have been involved in a criminal conspiracy like this and are now facing charges, it is crucial to understand that there are numerous offenses that you can end up facing including involvement as an accessory after the fact. Because the penalties that result from these charges are often severe, it is a wise idea to contact an experienced attorney in these situations.
What it Means to be an Accessory After the Fact
To be convicted as an accessory after the fact, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must establish that beyond a reasonable doubt the following:
The defendant aided a principal felon or accessory to an offense after the commission of the crime
The defendant was aware that the other person had committed or was an accessory in the commision of the offense
The defendant aided the offender with the intent to help him or her avoid or escape arrest, detention, punishment, or trial
What Penalties You can Expect to Face
The exact penalties that you can expect to face if you were an accessory after the fact depend on the offense involved as well as various other details. The more serious the offense with which you are charged, the more likely that you can expect to face substantial fines and even lengthy sentences of imprisonment. After the 1994 case of Commonwealth v. Talbot, Massachusetts courts have ruled that being an accessory after the fact is not a lesser element of other crimes, and you can end up being convicted of accessory after the fact as well as other offenses. Because the penalties are often severe, it is best to obtain the assistance of an experienced lawyer in these situations who can immediately begin to help you create a strong defense. One of the defenses that can be raised if you are charged as an accessory after the fact is that you are a protected family member through adoption or blood of the person who committed the offense.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you face charges as an accessory after a crime, it is critical that you quickly obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Edward Molari is committed to helping you create the strongest defense possible. In his years of helping others who have faced similar charges, attorney Molari has gained the experience to know what it takes to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact his office today to schedule an initial free consultation.