Is it considered harboring a fugitive or aiding/abetting if you allow someone to stay in your home knowing they have a warrant?

I have a friend who is allowing his friend to stay in his garage and he is aware that a warrant has been issued for the friend. He is worried about whether or not he or anyone else on the property, especially the landlord who owns the whole place who has no idea the friend is there, for instance can get in any legal trouble for allowing the friend with the warrant to stay there. He has not provided any other assistance, has no idea what the warrant was even issued for, hasn’t provided transportation or funding or anything else, all he’s done is allowed his friend to stay in the garage for about a month. Can he get in any legal trouble for it?

Asked on September 4, 2016 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The criminal statutes of most states, as well as federal law, are substantially similar in their determination of what actions constitute the crime of "aiding, abetting or harboring a fugitive". In general, an individual who knowingly assists, aids, gives shelter, hides, provides clothing, food or anything of value to a known fugitive is guilty of the offense. Depending upon the crime committed by the fugitive, the person harboring them, could be found guilty of either a felony or misdemeanor.


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