Federal Harboring a Fugitive

federal harboring a fugitive charges

A friend calls you randomly and asks “Hey, you mind if I crash by you for a couple of nights?” Not thinking anything of it, you accept the request and invite him into your home for as long as necessary. Then one day your door is being knocked down, and guns are drawn as law enforcement officials scavenge through your house in search of your friend. You had no clue he was a wanted criminal, but you’re still being arrested for harboring a fugitive.

Situations like these often occur, leaving innocent individuals booked, charged, and facing lengthy sentences for this federal offense. Although you may not have participated in the commision of the crime, the law sees you criminally responsible as you allegedly played a role in delaying the discovery of the individual. Legal counsel is a necessity when dealing with such impactful charges. The Orlando federal crime lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm can serve as your legal representation and fight to clear your name.

What is Harboring a Fugitive?

Harboring a fugitive can be a form of aiding and abetting or accessory. Aiding and abetting is when an individual is not directly involved in the crime itself but is aware of the crime and assists an individual before or after the fact. Depending on the level of involvement of the accused, charges may increase to accessory or even conspiracy.

If the prosecution has hopes of a federal conviction for harboring a fugitive, they must be able to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The fugitive had a federal warrant for their arrest
  • You were aware of the fugitive’s warrant
  • You concealed or harbored the fugitive
  • You had intentions to prevent the apprehension or discovery of the fugitive

If prosecutors can only prove one or two of these factors, you cannot be rightfully convicted on federal harboring a fugitive charges.

Penalties for Harboring a Fugitive

If the prosecution successfully presents their case and convicts you for harboring a fugitive, you may face up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. However, if the warrant is for a felony or you’ve harbored the individual after they’ve been convicted, you may face up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

Those who lack the services of a criminal defense attorney may easily be punished to the full extent of the law. You not have committed a crime in your eyes, but these charges are serious. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer can make you aware of the defense options available to you.

Defenses to Federal Harboring a Fugitive Charges 

One of the most formidable defenses to harboring a fugitive charges is that you withdrew your support of the fugitive. Proving this can be difficult unless there is clear-cut evidence that you attempted to discourage the harboring of a fugitive.

A few examples of which is if you told the alleged fugitive that you did not want to continue hiding the individual from the police. Another way is by calling the cops on the individual to give up his or her location. Doing either may result in charges being reduced or dropped altogether. There are also special considerations for fugitive family members.

Orlando Harboring a Fugitive Defense Attorneys

Our team of Orlando harboring a fugitive defense attorneys share over 100 years of experience and tenure as state and local prosecutors. We are dedicated to the success of your case and, moreover, your well-being. Allow our team of passionate criminal defense attorneys to fight for your freedom.

Brice Aikens with The Umansky Law Firm is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer who has extensive experience defending against federal charges. He can analyze the details of your case specifically and present the most favorable course of action for you. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.