accessory

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Related to accessory before the fact: accessory after the fact

accessory,

in criminal law, a person who, though not present at the commission of a crime, becomes a participator in the crime either before or after the fact of commission. An accessory before the fact is one whose counsel or instigation leads another to commit a crime. An accessory after the fact is one who, having knowledge that a crime has been committed, aids, or attempts to aid, the criminal to escape apprehension. In a misdemeanormisdemeanor,
in law, a minor crime, in contrast to a felony. At common law a misdemeanor was a crime other than treason or a felony. Although it might be a grave offense, it did not affect the feudal bond or take away the offender's property. By the 19th cent.
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 and in treason there is no distinction between principals and accessories. In some states the common law distinction between principal and accessory before the fact has been abolished, and the accessory before the fact is prosecuted as a principal. The penalties for being an accessory are usually much less severe than those meted out to the principal. Except where statutes provide differently, an accessory cannot be tried without his consent before the conviction of the principal, unless both are tried together. If an accessory is called as a witness, the court must decide if he is also an accomplice, because the testimony of an accomplice must be corroborated. An accomplice has been defined as any person who could be prosecuted for the crime of which the defendant is accused. This would include principals and accessories before the fact; depending on the jurisdiction and the facts of the case it might also include conspirators (see under conspiracyconspiracy,
in law, agreement of two or more persons to commit a criminal or otherwise unlawful act. At common law, the crime of conspiracy was committed with the making of the agreement, but present-day statutes require an overt step by a conspirator to further the conspiracy.
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) and accessories after the fact.

accessory

[ak′ses·ə·rē]
(mechanical engineering)
A part, subassembly, or assembly that contributes to the effectiveness of a piece of equipment without changing its basic function; may be used for testing, adjusting, calibrating, recording, or other purposes.

accessory

1. Law a person who incites someone to commit a crime or assists the perpetrator of a crime, either before or during its commission
2. assisting in or having knowledge of an act, esp a crime

accessory

Equipment that supports other equipment. For example, smartphone accessories include phone cases, chargers and cables. Examples of computer accessories are laptop bags, cables, screen cleaners and USB drives, although the latter may also be considered a peripheral device. See peripheral.
References in periodicals archive ?
They each pleaded not guilty in Worcester Superior Court last month to charges of accessory before the fact - murder; and accessory before the fact - armed robbery.
158, Worcester, two counts of accessory before the fact, dismissed as indicted; two counts of conspiracy, dismissed as indicted.
Emanuel Aguilar, 18, is charged as an accessory before the fact to armed robbery and armed robbery.
Hart was arraigned in Western Worcester District Court in East Brookfield on charges of larceny of property valued at more than $250, being an accessory before the fact and being an accessory after the fact.
Oxford, charged with making a false crime report, burning a vehicle, and burning a vehicle to defraud insurer, continued without a finding for one year, ordered to complete 50 hours of community service, $90 victim witness fee; being an accessory before the fact of a crime (burning a vehicle), conspiracy, and being an accessory after the fact of a crime (burning a vehicle), dismissed.
O'Connor, an inspector-packer, are charged with breaking and entering in the daytime with attempt to commit a felony, larceny of property valued more than $250, receiving stolen property valued $250 or more, being an accessory before the fact, and being an accessory after the fact.