Definition - What does Complicity mean?

In criminal law, complicity is the term used to describe a situation in which one person prompts or influences another to further the commission of an illegal act. The person who furthers the commission of the crime—by either taking deliberate action or failing to take some preventative action—shares responsibility with the person who actually commits it.

Justipedia explains Complicity

Complicity may be a factor in virtually any criminal act involving more than one person. Common examples include:

  • Any robbery in which someone other than the perpetrator who has prior knowledge of the crime drives the vehicle used to flee the scene.
  • A homicide in which someone who is aware of the perpetrator's intentions buys the weapon used in the crime.
  • A kidnapping in which someone who knows about the perpetrator's intentions tells them where the target will be at a specific time.
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