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How much jail time do you get for being an accessory to a crime?

Baltimore, MD |

if you were with someone that was forging checks but you didnt know that they were doing it and you two were caught on camera leaving in your car?

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Attorney answers 4


Unfortunately, there are so many factors that are left out of your question that it is impossible to give you an real answer. These factors include your prior criminal record, if any, your current status (on probation/parole), any other charges filed along with this one, and many more. In addition to the factors that are more factual like the ones just mentioned, you must figure in whether or not you are being represented by a lawyer, how much experience that lawyer has, what the State is offering, etc.

My best suggestion is to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer who can sit down with you and explore the entire situation in detail. After doing that and collecting all available information, a good defense lawyer will contact the Prosecutor handling your case to find out where "they are at" in terms of an offer. Only then can a reasonable estimate of your potential time, if any, be estimated.

If you would like to discuss this matter, I would be happy to meet with you or speak on the phone. Please contact my office at (410) 653-0065 any time.

Good luck.


The first question to be considered is whether there exists any competent evidence to prove that you were an accessory to a crime. If you didn't know that someone was forging checks and you were simply identified on a camera as leaving with the forgerer in a car, I have serious reservations whether you can be successfully prosecuted. Of course, as was previously address, a more detailed account of the facts must be obtained. For example, did the forgerer give an incriminating statement to the police concerning your knowledge? Did you yourself make any statement that could be construed as incriminating. Is there evidence that you are personally acquainted with the owner of or had access to the checks that were forged? One does not automatically get jail time for being a forgerer, let alone an accessory to one, although the same penalties apply to the principal offender and the accessory. You would be best to consult with an attorney who can better assess the weight of the evidence against you and how your personal background might affect you actual exposure, upon conviction, to any particular punishment.

Mr. Eidelberg is licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The response herein is not legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship, is for educational purposes, and intended to impart general information about the subject inquiry. Consultation with a qualified attorney in the state from which the inquiry is generated is strongly recommended so that case specific legal guidance can be obtained.


There is not enough information to answer your question. But you could face as much time as anyone else involved in the same crime. The better question is whether or not you could be convicted of the crime alleged, based on the facts you cite, what evidence is there you were involved in the crime? You should consult a good criminal defense attorney in your area.

This response does not create an attorney client relationship and is offered for informational purposes only. Only a lawyer fully versed on the facts and circumstances of your case can properly advise you on the case. I am licensed to practice in Minnesota, not every state. You should always consult with an attorney licensed in your area on how best to proceed.


While I basically agree with the prior answers offered, as a general rule, if you are charged with being an accessory to the crime, you often get the same or almost the same punishment as the primary defendant.

As mentioned before, consult with a competent attorney who is in federal practice.

You may call our office at 516-248-6600 or send an email to us at This answer does not form an attorney/client relationship with anyone and any answers do not constitute direct legal advice and should not be followed unless and until you have spoken with an attorney of your choice.

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