If I have a friend who has a warrant out on him for burglary, will they come after me for taking him in for a couple of days?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I have a friend who has a warrant out on him for burglary, will they come after me for taking him in for a couple of days?

He showed up at my door and I had no idea that he was wanted in another county for this crime. I have convinced him to turn himself in in the county where the warrant was issued. The reason I let him stay was because he is homeless and nowhere to go. He admitted to me there was a burglary warrant out on him. He wants me to take him to the courthouse to turn himself in. I’m a little unsettled by the prospect they could throw me in jail. My options?

Asked on December 5, 2014 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Now that you *know* he is wanted, you need to get him out of your home. It's no crime to innocently take someone in, not knowing they are sought by the police; but harboring a fugitive is a crime. If you know your friend is wanted by the authorities, the police or prosecutor could conclude that you were knowingly sheltering him from the law; while there's a good chance you'd ultimately escape liability, do you want to  take the chance of being found guilty--or even have to defend yourself in court? And if you are renting: many leases make it a violation to do anything criminal generally in the apartment, or specifically to take in a fugitive; you could potentially face eviction if your lease includes such terms.

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

As long as you do something about it soon, you should be okay.  Aiding and abetting statutes are still "specific intent" crimes.  From what you describe, you took him in because he was homeless, not to assist him evade apprehension.  So your initial actions did not have the specific intent to make you criminally liable.  However, if you continue to harbor him after knowing the warrant does exist, you could face some type of liability.  You are not required to turn him in.... but you need to get him out of your house.  Taking him to the courthouse is a good option--- but if you aren't comfortable with that option, take him to a shelter and let them deal with the situation.  If you are afraid that they are looking at you because of him, then consider calling a "crimestopper" hotline in your area where you can report his location and exonnerate yourself.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption