What Is The Law On Compounding A Felony In Rhode Island And What Are The Punishments For It?
Compounding a felony is considered a serious offense in the State of Rhode Island and anyone guilty of this offense will receive penalties. It is considered compounding a felony when a person deliberately accepts some kind of compensation from the criminal in return for withholding information related to the crime.
In order for law and order to be maintained in a State, it is important for the citizens to abide by their civilian duties and responsibilities. A part of these responsibilities include not engaging in criminal activity and reporting any information available on criminal activity to law enforcement authorities. Those that fail to comply by these rules, and engage in criminal behavior or enable such behavior can be punished by the State. Those who withhold information with the intent of profiting from the crime are also enabling criminal activity and can be punished under compounding a felony in Rhode Island.
A case can be considered as compounding a felony if two facts can be established. The first of these is that the person deliberately chose to withhold information they had on crime. The second fact is that the reason they chose to withhold such information has to do with obtaining a pecuniary benefit from the criminal. It was this pecuniary benefit that motivated the individual to not report the crime or deliberately withhold facts pertaining to the case.
If these two facts can be established, then the person can be charged with compounding a felony. The reason behind this is that by virtue of accepting the pecuniary benefit that motivated they are enabling the crime, they also profited from that crime.
What Happens When Someone Does Not Accept a Pecuniary benefit but Does Not Report the Crime?
Such a person cannot be charged with compounding a felony in the State of Rhode Island. There must be a pecuniary benefit involve exchanged between the criminal and the person who withheld the information for the case to be considered as compounding a felony.
When someone witnesses a crime but does not engage with the criminal or accept any compensation for withholding information, they cannot be charged with compounding a felony. If someone is themselves the victim of a crime but chooses not to report it, then they cannot be charged with compounding a felony either.
What are the punishments for compounding a felony in Rhode Island?
Compounding a felony is considered a serious offense in Rhode Island. The punishment received by the defendant is dependent on the nature of the crime they enabled.
The maximum sentence that the Court can punish someone with for compounding a felony in Rhode Island is five years. The maximum they can ask for in fines should be an amount not exceeding $5000. However, that does not mean that everyone will receive the maximum sentence. The maximum punishment someone convicted of compounding a felony can receive in Rhode Island should not exceed the maximum punishment for the crime they chose to enable.
What this means is that if the maximum jail time that can be served for the crime the person in compounding a felony case enabled is one year, then the person cannot be asked to serve a time exceeding one year in jail. The same also applies to fines.
A person can also be tried and convicted for compounding a felony even if the perpetrators of the crime they enabled have not been tried and convicted. They are separate charges and tried separately.