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See also Principal in the second degree. The prima facie case is: 1) Commission of the completed felony by someone else before the accessory’s act. 2) Knowledge by the accessory of that person's commission of the felony. 3) Aid to the felon. An accessory after the fact is generally not at the scene of the crime but knows a crime has been committed. She receives, relieves, comforts, or assists the felon, or in any manner to escape arrest or punishment. Her presence at the scene of a crime does not preclude conviction if she aids the guilty party after the commission of the crime but she cannot be guilty as a principal. 


The accessory after the fact is no longer treated as a party to the underlying felony, as at common law. This kind of accessory is coming to be recognized for what he is: an 'obstructer' of justice, the author of a separate and independent offense.' (1 Wharton's Criminal Law (15th ed. 1993) Parties, § 35, p. 210, fn. omitted; see People v. Balderas (1985) 41 Cal.3d 144, 193-194, & fn. 22 [222 Cal.Rptr. 184, 711 P.2d 480]; People v. Tewksbury (1976) 15 Cal.3d 953, ...

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