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For example, if a friend asked her father to physically assault me, and her father did it, can the friend who asked her father to assault me also be charged with assault?

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    This sentence is worded quite confusingly. It isn't entirely clear who is doing what to whom.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 23, 2023 at 22:22
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    Note that although soliciting a crime is a crime itself (as answered below), nobody knows if a particular person will be charged. The nature of the assault, the age of the friend and 1001 other factors might need to be taken into account, It's impossible to say in your particular case, who will or won't be charged.
    – James K
    Jul 24, 2023 at 17:55
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    Here's an example case: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_of_Nancy_Kerrigan
    – JimmyJames
    Jul 24, 2023 at 18:44
  • @JimmyJames Sorry, that was an auto-complete fail. I meant to respond to JamesK.
    – Barmar
    Jul 24, 2023 at 20:12
  • @JamesK I suspect they meant to ask could rather than will. We can never really predict whether anyone will be charged with any crime, only whether it's legally possible. And that's how they worded it in the title.
    – Barmar
    Jul 24, 2023 at 20:13

5 Answers 5

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Yes.

The charge in that case is solicitation of assault. Usually, solicitation of a crime carries the same punishment as the underlying crime.

On the other hand, if a daughter tells her father what you did to her and he unilaterally decides to assault you, out of defense of his family's honor and outrage, the daughter has not committed a crime.

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    And if the solicitor and perpetrator disscuss how they'll do it, could they also be charged with conspiracy?
    – Barmar
    Jul 24, 2023 at 6:10
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    Although "unilaterally decides" can still lead to charges if the instigator planned for a crime to happen, even if he didn't say so verbatim. e.g. "I would love for someone at this table to make Mario disappear" wink or "daddy - do you promise to punish anyone who hurt me? yes? well this guy hurt me!"
    – Falco
    Jul 24, 2023 at 10:09
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    A prosecutor could potentially look at the history of the relationship. If every time the daughter reports an offense against her, the father enacts retribution, she can reasonably that this will occur in the future. Were I the prosecutor (note: IANAL) I'd probably treat her as solicitating. OTOH, what is she supposed to do, not tell people close to her about her problems?
    – Barmar
    Jul 24, 2023 at 20:11
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    @Falco "Who will rid me of this meddlesome Mario?" Jul 24, 2023 at 21:19
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    @Falco - "Will someone rid me of this turbulent priest" comes to mind Jul 25, 2023 at 10:11
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Solicitation of a crime is a crime in itself, and will be punished in the same way as the actual crime.

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

Who intenitionally affects someone to intentionally commit an ulawful act, is punished as an instigator to the same extent as the perpetrator.

§ 26 Anstiftung StGB (StGB = Strafgesetzbuch, the German penal code).

However you will probably not charged with conspiracy. § 277 StGB makes the preparation of certain crimes a punishable offense (even if the actual crime is not executed), but is pretty much limited to human trafficking, some drug related offenses, causing nuclear accidents and wielding weapons of mass destruction. Assault is not in there.

If you order people to commit assault on a regular basis and the group includes at least three people, you might be charged according to § 26 StGB with "Bildung einer kriminellen Vereinigung" ("kriminellen Vereinigung" - "association of criminals" being defined as a group of people who meet with the purpose of committing crimes). That also does not seem applicable to the question,

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  • I think it wouln't be a conspiracy, because the person soliciting and the person assaulting commit two different crimes. It might very well be different if you hire someone to help you assaulting a victim. You would be guilty of soliciting an assault, you would be guilty of assault, and because there are two people assaulting it might be a conspiracy, depending on the exact laws of each country.
    – gnasher729
    Jul 24, 2023 at 23:41
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In Australia this could fall under common purpose or commission by proxy. From the Criminal Code 1995:

11.2 Complicity and common purpose

(1) A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission of an offence by another person is taken to have committed that offence and is punishable accordingly.

(2) For the person to be guilty:

(a) the person’s conduct must have in fact aided, abetted, counselled or procured the commission of the offence by the other person; and

(b) the offence must have been committed by the other person.

(3) For the person to be guilty, the person must have intended that:

(a) his or her conduct would aid, abet, counsel or procure the commission of any offence (including its fault elements) of the type the other person committed; or

(b) his or her conduct would aid, abet, counsel or procure the commission of an offence and have been reckless about the commission of the offence (including its fault elements) that the other person in fact committed.

(3A) Subsection (3) has effect subject to subsection (6).

(4) A person cannot be found guilty of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence if, before the offence was committed, the person:

(a) terminated his or her involvement; and

(b) took all reasonable steps to prevent the commission of the offence.

(5) A person may be found guilty of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence even if the other person has not been prosecuted or has not been found guilty.

(6) Any special liability provisions that apply to an offence apply also for the purposes of determining whether a person is guilty of that offence because of the operation of subsection (1).

(7) If the trier of fact is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that a person either:

(a) is guilty of a particular offence otherwise than because of the operation of subsection (1); or

(b) is guilty of that offence because of the operation of subsection (1);

but is not able to determine which, the trier of fact may nonetheless find the person guilty of that offence.

...

11.3 Commission by proxy

A person who:

(a) has, in relation to each physical element of an offence, a fault element applicable to that physical element; and

(b) procures conduct of another person that (whether or not together with conduct of the procurer) would have constituted an offence on the part of the procurer if the procurer had engaged in it;

is taken to have committed that offence and is punishable accordingly.

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will the friend who asked her father to assault me also be charged with assault

As stated above, she likely could be charged with... something
Not assault, but something with a similar penalty (like 'solicitation of assault')

Perhaps a better question for you to ask is, "Would she be charged?"

I suspect that if you are assaulted by the father, the father will say he decided to did it on his own.
If that is the case - while I think she could be charged - I don't think she would be charged because it would be difficult to prove that in court without either the father saying it happened that way or something else (like a history of this happening - which we don't know of).


I might be too cynical, and IANAL but...
In a broader context, whether anyone is charged with anything is often a factor of the workload of the DA/ADA (district attorney & assistant DA), how badly you were hurt, whether it can be called a hate crime (participants and victims skin color, orientation, etc.), if the person committing the assault has a prior record or is on parole, if he has any influence (you don't or you wouldn't be asking here), the way the responding officer wrote the report, if an admission was made during the interview, and other factors.

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    Legal citations? Jul 25, 2023 at 15:20
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The person who gives the order to assault someone is the "mastermind."

The person who carries out the assault is the "accomplice."

The charges against an accomplice may vary depending on their characteristics. For example:

  • Age: If the accomplice is old, they may be able to plead insanity or diminished capacity.
  • Trickery: If the accomplice was tricked by the mastermind, they may receive a lighter sentence than the mastermind.
  • Drug use: If the accomplice was under the influence of drugs at the time of the assault, they may receive a similar sentence to someone who is old.

Resuming, Mastermind will ever get (harsher) penalties by originating the crime.

Not all court cases are the same, and not all set precedents for future charges.

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    Legal citations? Jul 26, 2023 at 17:00
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