Aiding & Abetting Defense Lawyers in San Diego
Aiding and abetting is often termed accomplice liability; it is when law enforcement and the prosecutor in a criminal case has rounded up those who are thought to have any level of involvement in a criminal case, no matter how minor. Charges can be filed against you even if you were not present when the crime was committed. If the prosecutor alleges that you were aware that the criminal act was being planned and that you encouraged the commission of the crime in some way or facilitated or aided in its commission by your actions or words, you can face charges as an aider and abettor.
The skills of your defense counsel are the most important factor in what happens to you. You need a talented and aggressive criminal attorney that has years of success at trial working on your defense case immediately. Call the firm and speak with our San Diego defense attorney before your case progresses any further through the system. Do not answer any questions posed to you by law enforcement. Exercise your right to remain silent and retain the services of our firm immediately. As a board certified criminal law specialist, Attorney Dicks is well-equipped to defend you against these serious criminal charges.
To prove a person guilty of aiding and abetting a crime, it must be proven that:
- The perpetrator actually committed the crime in question;
- That prior to or during the commission of that criminal act, there were actions taken by the defendant that were intended to aid and abet the perpetrator to commit the offense;
- That the actions taken, whether in words or conduct, in fact did aid and abet the actual commission of the crime by the perpetrator.
The person who committed the crime may have named you in an effort to get a reduced sentence by making a deal with the prosecutor, or there may be some form of evidence that leads the prosecutor to believe you had a level involvement that warrants charges being filed against you.
These can be tough cases, and many defendants have lost the legal battle and are now spending time in state prison for a crime that they didn't commit.
Proving your innocence in the face of false accusations may boil down to a “he said/she said” situation, but a knowledgeable attorney with experience defending against criminal accusations can work closely with you to outline several defenses against aiding and abetting charges, including:
- You had no knowledge of the crime and were not involved in committing the crime. Having a clear alibi that you were not at the location where the crime was being committed can be a strong support in some cases.
- You were a bystander at the scene of the crime but were not involved in committing the crime.
- You had knowledge of the crime and were not legally required to stop it. This is often referred to as a “legal duty to act,” which is not common for everyday individuals who are not involved in the security or protection of others.
- You had knowledge of the crime but withdrew before it was committed and did everything in your power to stop it. Even if you were involved in planning a crime, you can defend against charges if you chose to not get involved and reporting any information you had to the police.
When building your defense against accusations of aiding and abetting, it is very important to explain when and how you were made aware of the crime, if at all. To be prosecuted for aiding and abetting, you must have been involved before or during the time the crime was committed. However, you cannot be charged with aiding and abetting if you facilitated the crime after it was committed. Instead, you will be considered an “accessory after the fact.” This can include aiding, hiding, or assisting an individual after he or she has committed a crime. In contrast, aiding and abetting is sometimes referred to as being an “accessory before the fact,” suggesting that you knew about the crime and were involved before or when it was committed, even if you were not directly involved.
Penalties for being an accessory after the fact are often less than aiding and abetting, because you were not actively involved in the planning and execution of the crime. Based on the information you provide and the specifics of the accusations, an experienced criminal defense attorney can build a defense case based around only an accessory after the fact, ensuring you receive lesser charges.
Those who have a prior criminal record will face enhanced penalties if convicted. Under state law, you will be charged for the crime itself and will face penalties as high as the perpetrator of the crime itself, in some cases even higher. If you are accused of aiding and abetting in any criminal case—whether a robbery, burglary, drug crime, violent crime, or other offense—you are at a crossroads. You could be convicted, and serve years in prison, based upon the facts the prosecutor has against you.
If you are accused, it is imperative that your defense case is initiated immediately. Call the firm to discuss your situation and get counsel that has an extensive and established record of achieving positive outcomes at trial. The firm is recognized throughout the justice system in San Diego for top quality, aggressive defense representation in cases involving accusations of aiding and abetting.
Call our firm at (760) 630-2000 if you are facing charges of aiding and abetting in a felony case.
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