Fresno Criminal Attorney Asks: Were You Aiding and Abetting a Crime?
Aug 07, 2014
Any crime involves at least one person who's a direct perpetrator. During an armed robbery, they're the ones holding the gun and demanding the money. During an assault, they're the ones swinging their fists or wielding a weapon against the victim.
However, in addition to the direct perpetrators of an act, there may also be people who are helping it along in some way. For example, they may be the ones driving the getaway car. They may help the perpetrator figure out how to break into someone's home or block a doorway in order to keep a victim from escaping an attack. In legal parlance, they're "aiding and abetting" a crime, even if they don't directly carry out the criminal act itself.
Under California law, aiding and abetting a crime could have you facing the same charges as the direct perpetrator. If you drove a getaway car, for example, or supplied weapons or did other things to facilitate a criminal act in some way, you could also be on the hook for the crime.
Keep in mind that your participation need not have been arranged in advance. If you decide in spur of the moment to help someone commit a crime, you're still going to get charged, even though you didn't make any extensive plans to do so.
If you find yourself in such a situation, be sure to contact a reputable criminal attorney. Your attorney will look into the matter and help you craft a powerful defense. For example, you may have been wrongly implicated in a crime, or your involvement may not have been enough to constitute aiding and abetting; you might have known about the crime, but not have been legally obligated to intervene. Whatever the case may be, you need to discuss what occurred with your attorney and rely on their help to obtain the best outcome possible in the legal system.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.