What is an ‘accessory after the fact’ in Virginia?
You may be charged as an accessory after the fact if you help a friend, someone you know, or a stranger evade or elude police when they have committed a felony.
Virginia Code states that:
Every accessory after the fact is guilty of (i) a Class 6 felony in the case of a homicide offense that is punishable by death or as a Class 2 felony or (ii) a Class 1 misdemeanor in the case of any other felony. However, no person in the relation of husband or wife, parent or grandparent, child or grandchild, brother or sister, by consanguinity or affinity, or servant to the offender, who, after the commission of a felony, shall aid or assist a principal felon or accessory before the fact to avoid or escape from prosecution or punishment, shall be deemed an accessory after the fact.Va. Code 18.2-19
What are the exceptions to this law?
This law exempts certain family members from being charged as accessories after the fact. This exception does not apply to other forms of conspiracy or being an accessory.
The Commonwealth carries the burden to prove that a defendant knew the third party had committed a felony, and that the defendant had the intent to help the third party evade capture or prosecution.
Do you need an attorney?
Locations we serve:
It is important for someone charged with Accessory after the fact in Virginia to hire a criminal lawyer who is close to the jurisdiction they are charged in. We are located right next to the Alexandria Courthouse and minutes away from Arlington, Fairfax, and Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) courts. Our firm handles these cases in many locations throughout Northern Virginia such as:
Alexandria General District Court
Arlington General District Court
Fairfax County General District Court
Prince William County General District Court
Loudoun County General District Court