Colorado’s Accessory to Crime Law
(18-8-105 C.R.S.)

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Being an accessory to crime in Colorado

In Colorado, it is a crime to give assistance of any kind to someone who is suspected of or has committed a crime. This crime is known as being an "accessory to crime" or being an accessory after the fact.

Being an accessory is prohibited under Section 18-8-105 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, which provides:

(1) A person is an accessory to crime if, with intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the discovery, detection, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another for the commission of a crime, he renders assistance to such person.

(2) “Render assistance” means to:

(a) Harbor or conceal the other; or

(a.5) Harbor or conceal the victim or a witness to the crime; or

(b) Warn such person of impending discovery or apprehension; except that this does not apply to a warning given in an effort to bring such person into compliance with the law; or

(c) Provide such person with money, transportation, weapon, disguise, or other thing to be used in avoiding discovery or apprehension; or

(d) By force, intimidation, or deception, obstruct anyone in the performance of any act which might aid in the discovery, detection, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of such person; or

(e) Conceal, destroy, or alter any physical or testimonial evidence that might aid in the discovery, detection, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of such person.

Colorado accessory to crime penalties

Being an accessory to crime is usually a felony in Colorado.

The other person has been convicted of or charged with a serious felony

It is a Colorado class 4 felony if you know that the person you are assisting has committed, has been convicted of, or is charged by pending information, indictment, or complaint with a class 1 or class 2 felony.

As a class 4 felony, accessory to crime can be punished by:

  • 2-6 years in prison (with 3 years mandatory parole), and/or
  • A fine of $2,000-$500,000.

The other person is simply suspected of a serious felony

Being an accessory to crime is a class 5 felony if you know that the person being assisted is suspected of or wanted for a crime, and if that crime is designated by this code as a class 1 or class 2 felony.

As a class 5 felony, consequences of accessory to crime can include:

  • 1-3 years in prison (with 2 years mandatory parole), and/or
  • A fine of $1,000-$100,000.

The other person has been charged with or is suspected of a less serious felony

Being an accessory to crime is a class 5 felony [punished as above] if you know that the person being assisted has committed, or has been convicted of, or is charged by pending information, indictment, or complaint with a crime, or is suspected of or wanted for a crime, and if that crime is designated by this code as a felony other than a class 1 or class 2 felony; except that being an accessory to a class 6 felony is a class 6 felony.

If convicted of being an accessory as a class 6 felony, your punishment can include:

  • 1 – 1 ½ years in prison (with a year mandatory parole), and/or
  • A fine of $1,000-$100,000.

The other person has been charged with or is suspected of a misdemeanor

However, if the other person has been convicted of or is suspected only of a misdemeanor, then being an accessory is a Colorado class 1 petty offense. As a petty offense, being an accessory carries maximum penalties of:

  • 6 - 18 months in jail, and/or
  • A fine of $500-$5,000.

Defending against being an accessory to crime in Colorado

Common defenses to charges of being an accessory to crime a crime in Colorado include (but are not limited to):

  • You didn't render assistance to the other person;
  • You didn't know the other person was suspected of, charged with or convicted of a crime;
  • You didn't intend to hinder, delay, or prevent the discovery, detection, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of the other person; or
  • Evidence against you was uncovered as the result of an illegal search and seizure or police misconduct.

 

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If you or someone you know has been charged with accessory to crime under Colorado 18-8-105 C.R.S., we invite you to contact our Colorado criminal defense lawyers for help.

Our compassionate Colorado defense lawyers know that being an accessory is a crime innocent people are often charged with, even when they did absolutely nothing wrong.

For a quick response from one of our attorneys simply fill out the form on this page. We will get back to you promptly to discuss the facts of your case and the best defense to your Colorado accessory to crime charges.

Or, if you prefer, you can reach us by phone at our Denver home office:

Colorado Legal Defense Group
1400 16th Street
16 Market Square 
Denver CO 80202
720-955-6112

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