Parties to a Crime
Principal in the first degree
Main offender, or the person who actually commits the criminal act.
Principal in the second degree
Person who was present at the crime and assisted or encouraged the principal offender to perform the offence but did not do the act itself.
Accessory before the fact
Helped the principal to plan the crime. Planning and/or preparation before the act is carried out.
Accessory after the fact
Assisted the principals after the act was committed, such as by driving a getaway car or disposing of evidence.
Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.