Aiding and Abetting
In California, there is no charge of “accessory before the fact,” therefore anyone who assists a principal actor before or while a crime is being committed is considered to be an aider and abettor. A person charged with aiding and abetting is often referred to as an accomplice. Any person that helps aid, facilitate, promote, encourage, or instigate the commission of the crime may criminally liable as an aider and abettor. However, aiding and abetting itself is not a crime, but rather a charge in addition to the principal charge, that could implicate any people who were at all involved in the crime even if they did not commit the actual crime themselves. If you or someone you know has been charged with aiding and abetting, it is important that you contact a lawyer immediately so that they can assess your case and provide next steps. Orange County aiding and abetting lawyer, William Weinberg is an experienced defense attorney who has successfully defended hundreds of clients, including those charged with aiding and abetting. Even if one person committed every element of the crime itself, if another person participated in any way so that the crime could be accomplished, that person could be charged with aiding and abetting.
For example, if you help a person steal a car or rob a bank, or if you are an actual accomplice in the crime, you could be charged as an aider and abettor. Penalties for aiding and abetting can include jail time, probation, and fines. If you believe that you may be facing charges for aiding and abetting another person in the commission of a crime, retaining an experienced aiding and abetting attorney in Orange County is crucial to your case.What Does the Prosecution Have to Prove in an Aiding and Abetting Charge?
Thankfully the way that our criminal justice system works, every person is innocent until proven guilty and the prosecution must prove every element of the crime in order for a person to be convicted of an offense. In aiding and abetting cases, the prosecution must prove all four elements that are listed below:
- The perpetrator (main actor) committed a crime
- The defendant (person charged with aiding and abetting) knew that the perpetrator intended to commit the crime
- Before or during the commission of the crime, the defendant intended to aid and abet the perpetrator in committing the crime; and
- The defendant’s words or conduct did in fact aid and abet the perpetrator’s commission of the crime
A person’s mere presence at the scene of a crime does not necessarily constitute aiding and abetting by itself. However, prosecutors often argue that a defendant’s mere presence at a crime scene was enough to constitute aiding and abetting by alleging that the purpose of their presence was to assist the principal actor either as being a lookout or to help them if anything went wrong during the commission of the crime. An experienced aiding and abetting attorney in Orange County can fight these charges with a variety of different legal defense strategies.
William Weinberg is a defense attorney with proven results and promises to vigorously defend your rights under the law. He has successfully defended hundreds of clients, including those charged with aiding and abetting. To reach Orange County aiding and abetting lawyer, William Weinberg please contact his Irvine office at (949) 474-8008 or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will review your case and provide a confidential consultation, free of charge.