Basically, the short answer to this question is YES, if you let the person live in your home and you know that he has a warrant out for his arrest. If you are facing an accessory charge it is imperative to consult a criminal defense attorney.
Prosecution for Acting as an Accessory
Penal Code Section 32 provides as follows: An accessory is a person “who, after a felony has been committed, harbors, conceals, or aids a principal in such felony, with the intent that said person may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction or punishment, having knowledge that said principal has committed such felony or has been charged with such felony or convicted thereof…” (The People v. Jane Nuckles (2013) 2013 DJDAR 5168)
To be found guilty of a violation of “accessory” the prosecution must prove the following FOUR elements:
• Assuming you are charged as an “accessory,” someone other than you must have committed a specific and completed felony. (This other person is known as the “principal.”)
• You must have “harbored, concealed, or aided” the principal
• You knew at that time that the principal had committed a felony, or had been convicted of or charged with a felony, AND
• You intended at that time for the principal to avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction or punishment
What the above-mentioned law means is that if a loved one wishes to come live in your home, it is better for you to NOT ask any questions about his “warrant status,” since “knowledge” is a critical element that must be proven by the prosecution in an accessory case (PC 32). If the DA cannot prove that you knew your loved one had a warrant for his arrest, then you should not be convicted of this crime.
Having a warrant out for your arrest can only lead to you living your life in fear of arrest. If you or a loved one has a warrant out for his arrest, the smartest thing you can do is to contact an experienced criminal defense law firm to help you.
California Criminal Defense Attorney
Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully resolving all types of accessory cases. If you are facing an accessory charge or have a warrant out for your arrest, please call 888-4-NO-JAIL to speak with one of our experienced California criminal defense attorneys. With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks there is a Wallin & Klarich attorney available wherever you happen to live. We will be there when you call.