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Posted on June 12, 2013 by Law Office of Brett A Podolsky
The law is set up so that criminals are punished for their behavior. In some cases, a crime can be committed as a result of outside help from others, even if they do not formally participate in the act. Those who help criminals commit deviant acts are considered accomplices, and they can be found guilty of the crime of aiding and abetting.
What is Aiding and Abetting?
Aiding and abetting refers to assisting another individual in the commission of a crime. A few of the things that could be considered aiding and abetting are:
- Acting as a lookout while a crime is committed
- Providing transportation to and from a crime scene. This does not have to include driving, as allowing someone to borrow a vehicle to use for committing a crime will also be considered providing assistance.
- Setting up the scene to make it easy for another to commit a crime
- Transporting or hiding stolen goods
- Hiding a fugitive or helping him to escape
- Providing items needed to carry out a crime
Before, During or After
Individuals can become accessories to a crime before, during or after the fact. Those who plot a crime with another are said to be accessories before the fact. These individuals can be considered conspirators, and they may face much stiffer penalties than those who assist during or after a crime. When determining when someone actually became an accomplice, prosecutors will look at one’s intent and the type of knowledge he should have had about the commission of a crime.
Penalties for Aiding and Abetting
Texas law varies concerning the penalties for aiding and abetting. When determining the consequences, courts will consider a number of factors, which can include:
- Severity of the crime
- Degree of participation
- Whether the accomplice was under duress
- Efforts to conceal one’s involvement
- When the accomplice helped (before, during or after)
Most of the time, aiding and abetting can result in jail time, probation or criminal fines. In some instances, accomplices can face the same sanctions as those who are actually arrested for a crime. This is true with most federal crimes, and can sometimes be the case with homicide crimes under Texas law.
Get a free review of your aiding and abetting case by calling Brett A. Podolsky at 713-227-0087.