Criminal law can sometimes be very complex and determining what to charge can present great challenges to judges. However, the case of Warfield presents an interesting scenario of having prior knowledge of the intention to commit crime and failure to act beforehand.
The Examination of Warfield’s Case
From a dissection of the case study, it is revealed that Warfield could fall the same fate as that of his friends. In fact, he needs a great attorney to shield him from facing the full face of the law as an equally guilty party for robbery with violence, intent to cause bodily harm, and forced abduction.
This is more if examined from the legal perspective that Warfield was part of the group that entered the house. The first step in determining whether Warfield is equally guilty is to determine Warfield’s prior intents and knowledge beforehand that his friends were planning to commit crime. In the event that the responses to the issues raised above are positive, then Warfield is equally responsible.
In fact, analyzing this from the legal perspective that Warfield also went into the house places a number of complexities in absolving him of the crimes. Proving that he was innocent and a victim of circumstances remains a very tough option to achieve. This is further complicated by the fact that Warfield fled when the police noticed some unusual activities. His prior knowledge on the intention of his friends to commit crimes and intent can be presumed.
Despite the fact that headlong flight alone does not constitute a crime, it is an indicative of the fact that Warfield was not only part of the group; he was also guilty. These issues raise reasonable grounds for justification of engagement in the robbery. According to Lasson (1937, p.47), “headlong flight is an indicative of criminal activity to a point of suspicion.”
Once Warfield witnessed the crime, the only decision he would have made was to withdraw, leave the house and report the crime. According to Siegel (2009), “withdrawal in this perspective is similar to renunciation.” However, in the event that Warfield manages to convince the Supreme Court that he was not part of the group, there is still the element of omission for a crime.
Warfield’s failures to attempt to stop the crime or report the intention to commit a crime constitute a crime and may place Warfield to be treated as a principal offender. These are serious self-incriminating issues, which attract the attention of keen judges and form the basis of determining the charge against the accused.
The Possible Verdict
Despite the fact that his defense team may prove otherwise, Warfield could still be charged as others. The most serious charge he may face in this case is robbery with violence. This only requires a finding of probable cause to consider Warfield as equally guilty. However, a strong defense team may prove otherwise and Warfield could be lucky to escape with a less serious charge of failure to report felony.
Lasson, N. B. (1937). The History and Development of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Siegel, L.J (2009). Introduction to Criminal Justice. LA: Cengage Learning