What is Aiding and Abetting?

//What is Aiding and Abetting?

What is Aiding and Abetting?

Aiding and abetting generally means to somehow assist in the commission of a crime, or to be an accomplice.

Aiding and abetting is a criminal charge that can be brought against anyone who helps in the commission of a crime, though legal distinctions vary by state. A person charged with aiding and abetting does not have to be present when the crime itself is committed, but he or she has knowledge of the crime before or after the fact, and may have assisted in its commission through advice, actions, or financial support.

Aiding or abetting can vary from driving a car, to being present at a fight and rendering assistance or being a lookout for a burglary or robbery or any other crime.

For example, Ron asks Lisa for the code to the alarm system at the store she works at and she gives it to him. He then asks Jeff to drive him to the store and let him hide any merchandise stolen at his house and Jeff agrees. Jeff and Lisa can both be charged with aiding and abetting or acting as accessories to the robbery.

However, one who is merely present when a crime occurs and stands by silently without sharing the criminal intent is not an accomplice, regardless of the harm that could’ve been prevented if he or she had acted to prevent the crime.

To prove a defendant guilty of aiding and abetting, the prosecutor must prove each of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Someone committed the crime.
  • The defendant aided, counseled, commanded, induced or procured that person with respect to at least one element of the criminal act.
  • The defendant acted with the intent to facilitate the crime
  • The defendant acted before the crime was completed.

It is not enough that the defendant merely associated with the person committing the crime, or unknowingly or unintentionally did things that were helpful to that person, or was present at the scene of the crime. The evidence must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted with the knowledge and intention of helping that person commit the crime.

The prosecutor is not required to prove precisely which defendant actually committed the crime and which defendant aided and abetted.

If a person is convicted of aiding or abetting, they are convicted for the same level of crime in which they assisted as the person who actually pulled the trigger or committed the burglary.

It is common for a prosecutor to offer a plea bargain to someone facing charges for aiding and abetting. For example the prosecutor will allow the driver, who could claim that he or she didn’t know a crime was going to be committed or claim they didn’t know there was a gun in the car, a lesser deal in order to get them to turn on the criminal who really did the crime. Its called a plea bargain because the person gets the benefit of a lesser crime to which he or she can plead guilty and he or she gives information about the one who committed the actual criminal act that will help to convict him or her more easily.

This is a general article for example purposes. As always, please contact us at 979-821-2663 regarding your specific case.

Aiding and abetting generally means to somehow assist in the commission of a crime, or to be an accomplice.

Aiding and abetting is a criminal charge that can be brought against anyone who helps in the commission of a crime, though legal distinctions vary by state. A person charged with aiding and abetting does not have to be present when the crime itself is committed, but he or she has knowledge of the crime before or after the fact, and may have assisted in its commission through advice, actions, or financial support.

Aiding or abetting can vary from driving a car, to being present at a fight and rendering assistance or being a lookout for a burglary or robbery or any other crime.

For example, Ron asks Lisa for the code to the alarm system at the store she works at and she gives it to him. He then asks Jeff to drive him to the store and let him hide any merchandise stolen at his house and Jeff agrees. Jeff and Lisa can both be charged with aiding and abetting or acting as accessories to the robbery.

However, one who is merely present when a crime occurs and stands by silently without sharing the criminal intent is not an accomplice, regardless of the harm that could’ve been prevented if he or she had acted to prevent the crime.

To prove a defendant guilty of aiding and abetting, the prosecutor must prove each of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Someone committed the crime.
  • The defendant aided, counseled, commanded, induced or procured that person with respect to at least one element of the criminal act.
  • The defendant acted with the intent to facilitate the crime
  • The defendant acted before the crime was completed.

It is not enough that the defendant merely associated with the person committing the crime, or unknowingly or unintentionally did things that were helpful to that person, or was present at the scene of the crime. The evidence must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted with the knowledge and intention of helping that person commit the crime.

The prosecutor is not required to prove precisely which defendant actually committed the crime and which defendant aided and abetted.

If a person is convicted of aiding or abetting, they are convicted for the same level of crime in which they assisted as the person who actually pulled the trigger or committed the burglary.

It is common for a prosecutor to offer a plea bargain to someone facing charges for aiding and abetting. For example the prosecutor will allow the driver, who could claim that he or she didn’t know a crime was going to be committed or claim they didn’t know there was a gun in the car, a lesser deal in order to get them to turn on the criminal who really did the crime. Its called a plea bargain because the person gets the benefit of a lesser crime to which he or she can plead guilty and he or she gives information about the one who committed the actual criminal act that will help to convict him or her more easily.

This is a general article for example purposes. As always, please contact us at 979-821-2663 regarding your specific case.

By | 2017-01-03T07:22:06+00:00 December 27th, 2016|Categories: Bail Bond FAQ|0 Comments

About the Author:

Gage Gandy Bail Bonds has been in business since 1996. The founder and owner Gage Gandy is a graduate of Texas A&M University and a life long native of Bryan-College Station. Gage has years of experience in helping families with bailing their loved ones out of jail very fast. He takes his bail bonds business very seriously, and it is without a doubt one of the biggest priorities in his life.

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