An arsonist committed arson. What crime does an accessory commit? I'm asking for the term describing this crime.

  • 2
    An accessory commits the crime of being an accessory to whatever crime the principal or main offender commits. The exact meaning, and whether there is a difference from the term 'accomplice' depends on the jurisdiction (which you have not specified). Commented May 22 at 12:43
  • I’m voting to close this question because it is asking for a specialized legal term and would be better asked on a forum devoted to law.
    – TimR
    Commented May 22 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


An "accessory" is someone who helps someone else commit a crime. So if you murder someone by poisoning him, and I gave you the poison and told you how to use it, then I am an "accessory". The crime is "being an accessory". There's a wide range of crimes you could be assisting. Clearly being an accessory to murder is a worse crime than being an accessory to illegally parking in a handicap space.

If you want more specifics than that, you're really asking a question about law and not about English.

  • I voted to close the question, but I can't see anything wrong with this answer that might justify someone's downvote. Commented May 22 at 13:11

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