18

In my Googling, I learned that (at least in most of the U.S.) a defendant cannot be an accessory to a misdemeanor. What about someone just nagging and insisting on it?

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  • 4
    Does the united-states tag apply here?
    – Hobbamok
    Mar 16 at 8:40
  • 2
    @Hobbamok at this point, no: we've gotten answers for a variety of jurisdictions, and adding that tag would invalidate them.
    – Ryan M
    Mar 16 at 23:45
34

This is called solicitation.

A person is guilty of solicitation to commit a crime if with the purpose of promoting or facilitating its commission he commands, encourages or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such crime.

Model Penal Code § 5.02.

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    As your link mentions, this may not be a crime in some states that require the underlying crime to be more serious than a misdemeanor. Mar 15 at 5:29
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    Thanks to this wording, I found this in my local laws: “A person who solicits another to commit an offense prohibited by law and in the course of such solicitation commands, encourages, hires, or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such offense or an attempt to commit such offense commits the offense of criminal solicitation, ranked for purposes of sentencing as provided in subsection (4).“
    – Frungi
    Mar 15 at 13:52
  • @Frungi, yeah, whether it applies to misdemeanors if entirely up to local laws
    – Hobbamok
    Mar 16 at 8:41
  • @bdb484 I read through it but am not absolutely sure: does that link you quoted from apply to the united-states or is it like a general guideline on criminal codes?
    – Hobbamok
    Mar 16 at 8:42
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    It's model language, and most states in the United States have adopted it. The states that don't use it will generally follow the same principles, using different language.
    – bdb484
    Mar 16 at 10:16
10

In the offence is encouraging an offence contrary to s.44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007. Here, we make no distinction between the level or type of offence being encouraged.

Previously, the offence was inciting the commission of another offence contrary to Common Law which was abolished by s.59 of the 2007 Act.

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    "Here" in this answer, means "in england and wales", not just in this specific law.
    – Stilez
    Mar 15 at 14:54
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    @Stilez That is wrong. Section 44 extends to England & Wales and Northern Ireland. More generally, in the UK you should never assume an Act's jurisdiction. Always check the "extent" (or equivalent) section.
    – JBentley
    Mar 16 at 16:19
6

Just encouraging someone to commit a crime can make one an accomplice. See, e.g., People v. Prettyman

an aider and abettor must act with knowledge of the criminal purpose of the perpetrator and with an intent or purpose either of committing, or of encouraging or facilitating commission of, the offense.

5

You didn't tag your question with some country.

So here is my answer for :

In Germany, §26 StGB states:

Anstiftung

Als Anstifter wird gleich einem Täter bestraft, wer vorsätzlich einen anderen zu dessen vorsätzlich begangener rechtswidriger Tat bestimmt hat.

The word "Anstiftung" translates to "incitement" or "instigation".

Freely translated, the law means:

A person who deliberately instigates another person to deliberately perform an illegal act will be punished the same way as the person who performed the illegal act.

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