If you have been informed by an officer you will be charged with harboring a fugitive, is there a way to prove you didn’t know?

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If you have been informed by an officer you will be charged with harboring a fugitive, is there a way to prove you didn’t know?

My friend gave a girl she met a place to stay, and the police just arrested the girl today and told my friend she will now have a charge for harboring a fugitive. The girl needed a place to stay and my friend had no idea she had an active warrant. My friend is a single mother, has 2 small children, is unemployed currently and needs to know the proper steps to take to prove her innocence in this matter. I know it will be hard but are we really expected to run a background check to help someone out when they just need a place to sleep?

Asked on January 2, 2013 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

To harbor a fugitive, it has to proved in court that 1) You knew the person to be a fugitive at the time you harbored or provided them shelter and 2) You harbored the fugitive with an intent to evade the law from capturing the fugitive. It sounds like the officer was simply upset when he said that you would be charged because your facts to not support probable cause that crime had been committed on your part. Nonetheless, I would still contact a criminal defense attorney in your area to discuss your options.


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