Post Tagged with: "Criminal Law"

What are Abetting, Aiding, and Being an Accessory to a Crime?

November 9, 2018 at 10:08 am Comments are Disabled

someone getting arrestedAiding, abetting, and being an accessory are all criminal violations that are usually interconnected. The criminal actors in these types of crimes are called principals, aiders and abettors or accomplices, and accessories. Their level of participation in a crime differs.

For example, during a store robbery, the principal would be the one to perform the holdup, the aider or abettor would be the getaway vehicle’s driver, and the accessory would be the one to help the robbers evade arrest once they have completed the robbery, explains Matthew Jube, Attorney at Law a top criminal defense lawyer in Provo.

Common Elements of The Three Crimes

These three crimes involve an individual charged as the accomplice to a crime that another individual, called the principal, has committed. Basically, the individual accused of aiding and abetting, or being an accessory, allegedly assisted the principal before the crime’s commission or after it. The individual accused of being an accomplice or accessory need not be present at the time and place the crime was committed. The court just needs to determine whether the accomplice was aware of the crime that had been or was going to be committed by the principal.

It’s likewise vital to note that even an individual who knows about the completed crime, disapproves of it, but aided the principal in some way that could be associated with the crime might be charged with being an accessory, abetting, or aiding. Also, if the accused individual’s level of participation in the crime is substantial enough, the individual might likewise be charged with conspiracy.

Generally speaking, the court would charge an individual with conspiracy if he or she was substantially and directly involved in the concealment or planning of a crime.

Other Crucial Things to Note

In most cases, laws usually don’t distinguish between who is the principal and who is the accomplice, meaning that the court could prosecute and penalize the accomplice as they would the principal or the one who committed the crime. Bearing all this in mind, if you have been accused of aiding, abetting, or serving as an accessory, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney because these are grave charges that come with equally severe penalties, including hefty fines and even prison time.