Accessory After the Fact
Definition - What does Accessory After the Fact mean?
An accessory after the fact refers to a person who helps with the carrying out of a crime after the crime actually happens. As opposed to the person who actually commits the crime, an accessory after the fact is a person who makes committing the crime easier for the person committing the crime by doing something to help after the crime is committed.
Justipedia explains Accessory After the Fact
In general, a person who is convicted for being an accessory after the fact will not be punished quite as severely as the person who actually committed the crime. However, this is not always the case. Depending on the crime, an accessory after the fact can be found to be just as culpable as the person who committed the crime. For example, a person who agreed to hide a dead body from the police can sometimes serve a sentence just as long as the person who committed the murder.