4.18.03 Accessory After the Fact, 18 U.S.C. § 3 See Statute

[Defendant] is charged with being an accessory after the fact to the crime of [specify crime]. It is against federal law to be an accessory after the fact. For [defendant] to be convicted of this crime, you must be convinced that the government has proven each of the following things beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, that [specify other person] committed [specify crime];

Second, that [defendant] knew that [specify other person] committed [specify crime]; and

Third, that after the [specify crime] was completed, [defendant] tried to help [specify other person] with the intention of preventing or hindering [his/her] [arrest; trial; punishment].

Knowledge and intent may not ordinarily be proven directly because there is no way of directly scrutinizing the workings of the human mind. In determining what [defendant] knew or intended at a particular time, you may consider any statements made or acts done or omitted by [defendant] and all other facts and circumstances received in evidence that may aid in your determination of [defendant]’s knowledge or intent. You may infer, but you are certainly not required to infer, that a person intends the natural and probable consequences of acts knowingly done or omitted. It is entirely up to you, however, to decide what facts are proven by the evidence received during this trial.


(1) The First Circuit has said that “an accessory-after-the-fact offense is almost never going to be a lesser included offense as to the principal crime” because it requires proof of one element the principal offense does not require—assistance after the crime was committed. United States v. Rivera-Figueroa, 149 F.3d 1, 6 & n.5 (1st Cir. 1998). If the defendant has not been charged as an accessory-after-the-fact, giving this charge, even at a defendant’s request, has “the potential to confuse the jury.” United States v. Otero-Mendez, 273 F.3d 46, 55 (1st Cir. 2001); accord Rivera-Figueroa, 149 F.3d at 7.

(2) The statute requires knowledge “that an offense against the United States has been committed.” That means that the “government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accessory was aware that the offender had engaged in conduct that satisfies the essential elements of the primary federal offense,” but not necessarily that the defendant knew that such conduct was in fact a federal crime. United States v. Graves, 143 F.3d 1185, 1186 (9th Cir. 1998).