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5.6.2 - Checklist: Assist Offender

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Five elements the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The principal offender committed a serious criminal offence; and
  2. After that offence was committed, the accused performed some act; and
  3. When the accused performed that act, s/he knew or believed that the principal offender had committed a serious criminal offence; and
  4. The accused acted with the purpose of impeding the apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment of the principal offender; and
  5. The accused acted without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.

    Serious Criminal Offence

1. Did the principal offender commit a serious criminal offence?

Consider – Has the prosecution proven all of the elements of [describe offence]?

If Yes, then go to Question 2

If No, then the accused is not guilty of assisting an offender

Accused’s Actions

2. After that offence was committed, did the accused perform some act?

Consider – Did the accused [describe relevant act]?

If Yes, then go to Question 3

If No, then the accused is not guilty of assisting an offender

Accused’s Knowledge or Belief

3. When the accused performed that act, did s/he know or believe that the principal offender had committed a serious criminal offence?

If Yes, then go to Question 4

If No, then the accused is not guilty of assisting an offender

Accused’s Purpose

4. Did the accused act with the purpose of impeding the apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment of the principal offender?

Consider – Was at least one of the accused’s motivations for acting that s/he wanted to prevent the principal offender from being apprehended, prosecuted, convicted or punished?

If Yes, then go to Question 5

If No, then the accused is not guilty of assisting an offender

Lawful Justification

5. Did the accused act without lawful justification or reasonable excuse?

If Yes, then the accused is guilty of assisting an offender
(as long as you have also answered Yes to questions 1, 2, 3 and 4)

If No, then the accused is not guilty of assisting an offender

Last updated: 23 April 2008

See Also

5.6 - Assist Offender

5.6.1 - Charge: Assist Offender