A criminal act in which a person agrees not to report the occurrence of a crime or not to prosecute a criminal offender in exchange for money or other consideration.
The offense is also committed when a person accepts remuneration for encouraging a witness to be absent from a trial or employs any unlawful tactics to delay a criminal proceeding.
Under the common law and most modern statutes a compounding offense consists of three basic elements: (1) knowledge of the crime; (2) the agreement not to prosecute or inform; and (3) the receipt of consideration. The offense is complete when there is an agreement to either withhold evidence of the crime, conceal it, or fail to prosecute it. A crime is not compounded when a person merely reacquires property previously stolen from him or her; the crime would further require that the return of the stolen property was conditioned on an agreement not to report or prosecute the crime.
The individual compounding the crime must be aware of the previous offense although the person who committed it need not be tried or convicted. The fact that the person who committed the previous crime is not tried until after the prosecution for compounding occurs is irrelevant.
The consideration can consist of anything of value, such as money, property, or a promise of monetary gain. Only the recipient of the consideration can be guilty of compounding an offense. Although the person who offers the consideration is not considered guilty of compounding a crime, he or she might be guilty of bribery.
At common law the compounding of any crime was an offense. Today many jurisdictions limit the offense to the compounding of felonies. The usual punishment is a fine, imprisonment, or both.
"Compounding Offense." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/compounding-offense
"Compounding Offense." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved September 23, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/compounding-offense
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.