Can You Be Arrested for Your Child or Spouse’s Crime?

If your spouse or child has been involved in a crime, you may worry that you could be held criminally liable for their offense. In New Hampshire, you generally cannot be held criminally responsible for another person’s crime except in particular circumstances. Here’s what you need to know.

Criminal Liability for Another’s Conduct

Under New Hampshire criminal law, a person can be held liable for the conduct of another person only if they are legally accountable for that person’s actions. You may be legally accountable if you cause another person to engage in criminal conduct or act as an accomplice, or the law defining the offense holds you accountable. This behavior is more commonly known as “aiding and abetting.”

In other words, you might be held liable for a crime that your spouse or child (or anyone else) committed if you played a role in their actions that caused a reasonably foreseeable illegal result. For example, the law may consider you legally culpable if you:

• encouraged them to commit a crime,

• helped them plan or execute the crime,

• allowed them access to a weapon knowing they intended to, or were likely to, commit a crime with it.

• helped them to conceal the crime after they committed it.

The police may arrest and bring felony charges against you if they have evidence showing you helped perpetuate the offense. If convicted, you could face between a year to life in prison, depending on your role or the nature of the crime.

Civil Liability for a Child’s Conduct

New Hampshire parents can be held civilly liable for their child’s actions under certain circumstances. The state’s “parental responsibility law” provides that a parent can be held responsible if their child vandalizes or damages another person’s property. However, the parents must have failed or neglected to exercise reasonable supervision of or control over their child to be held liable.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Bedford, Concord, Nashua, Hampton, and Beyond

If you’ve been implicated in an offense your child or spouse committed, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Any suggestion that you played a role in their crime could have serious legal repercussions. Talk to the knowledgeable New Hampshire criminal defense attorneys of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. at 1-888-511-1010 today or reach out online for your free consultation. We are ready to stand up for your rights.

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