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View Full Version : Harboring a Fugitive?



Feathers
06-14-2007, 11:38 PM
I know this is illeagle, but what can you be charged for doing this? Would it be something along the lines of impeding a federal investigation? Can you be arrested? Jailed? How long would a sentance be, if any sentance at all? If I harborded a murder, would I get penalized worse than If I harbored, say, a petty-thief?

In my WIP one of the MC's is a teenage boy (call him Sam). His fugitive adult brother of suspected murder comes to his house and threatens him into silence with a gun. The brother (call him Tom) says he's being set-up, and after he relaxes a bit, puts the gun away. Sam willingly lets Tom stay overnight. Tom then leaves in the morning. Sam says nothing to the police.
However, local athourities figure out what happened.
How can Sam be charged? How could he argue his case?

This is something I really don't know much about, and am having a hard time finding answers to.

mAndy

alleycat
06-14-2007, 11:47 PM
Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessory_(legal_term)

Read down until you get to "accessory after the fact".

And check some of the links at the bottom.

Tsu Dho Nimh
06-18-2007, 06:15 PM
A teenager threatened by a man with a gun is not "harboring a fugitive" ... it's more like he's been threatened into saying nothing.

That charge is for people who knowingly and willingly harbor criminals.

If he dos not volunteer information, no crime has been committed.

If he LIES when asked about it, after the local cops figure it out, then he's "obstructing justice".

Jedi Dad
06-18-2007, 09:27 PM
A teenager threatened by a man with a gun is not "harboring a fugitive" ... it's more like he's been threatened into saying nothing.

That charge is for people who knowingly and willingly harbor criminals.

If he dos not volunteer information, no crime has been committed.

If he LIES when asked about it, after the local cops figure it out, then he's "obstructing justice".


100% agree

Feathers
06-18-2007, 11:23 PM
A teenager threatened by a man with a gun is not "harboring a fugitive" ... it's more like he's been threatened into saying nothing.

That charge is for people who knowingly and willingly harbor criminals.

If he dos not volunteer information, no crime has been committed.

If he LIES when asked about it, after the local cops figure it out, then he's "obstructing justice".

Okay, this makes sense. But what about the part where Tom puts the gun away, and
Sam willingly lets Tom stay overnight.
Couldn't the prosocuter argue that Sam was haboring Tom?

Perhaps something else I should mention: Sam lives with his grandmother who was home during the whole two-day episode. She had no clue Tom was running from the law or that he threatened Sam with a gun, however. Could a prosocuter use this against Sam?

And thanks for the link, alleycat. Chekin it out.

Soccer Mom
06-19-2007, 12:19 AM
Technically, he could be guilty of harboring a fugitive, but no prosecutor I know would take a case on a minor who didn't rat out his adult brother with a gun.

If he did something to actively help Tom, that would get him in a lot more trouble and would warrant a charge of obstruction, tampering, false report, etc.... depending on what he did.

BTW: How would Sam know that Tom was a fugitive, but not Gramma? Gramma would be one of the first places most cops would look for a young man on the run: family, then friends.

Feathers
06-19-2007, 02:21 AM
Tom+Sam's parents died in a car accident when they were little, and Tom got shipped off to foster-parents while Sam chose to live with gramma. The family connection with Tom and gram are not strong at all, and in the ten or so years since the accident he has chosen to ignore both her and Sam completly. Tom was off the grid for a while and went by a fake name, so the cops didn't know he had relatives.

But I didn't actually think of that, so thanks alot for bringing that up--i'm going to have to make sure I incorperate that fact.