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Aiding and Abetting Murder Defense Lawyer in San Diego


Experienced Legal Defense Against Serious Criminal Charges

Under California law, aiding and abetting means acting as an accomplice or an accessory to a crime. The law states that all persons concerned in the commission of a crime are principals, under California Penal Code Section 31. They can be charged with a crime whether they directly committed the act, aided and abetted in its commission, or advised and encouraged its commission if not present at the scene of the crime. Aiding and abetting is not a separate charge. If you are accused of aiding and abetting a murder, you will be charged with the crime of murder.

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What Does It Mean to Be an Accessory to Murder?

A person can be convicted as an accessory to murder in California for aiding someone who commits murder, either before or after the crime is committed. Someone who assists the perpetrator after a murder is committed is an accessory after the fact. The penalties for accessory after the fact are different from the penalties for murder.

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What Behaviors Committed Before the Crime Is Carried Out Can Make a Person an Accessory to Murder?

Aiding and abetting can cover a wide range of possible situations. You could be accused of aiding and abetting a murder for a variety of behaviors occurring before the crime was committed, including:

  • Aiding the murderer in committing the crime (for example, providing a gun or other weapon)
  • Encouraging the perpetrator to commit murder
  • Inciting another person to carry out the crime of murder
  • Facilitating the murder (knowingly assisting in the commission of the crime)

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What Does It Mean to Be an Accessory to Murder After the Fact?

A person who aids a murderer after the crime has been committed by helping the perpetrator avoid arrest and prosecution is an accessory after the fact, under California Penal Code Section 32. To be an accessory to murder after the fact under the law, you must have had knowledge that the person you were aiding had committed murder or had been charged with or convicted of the crime. If you knew someone had murdered someone else and helped that person escape law enforcement, you could be charged as an accessory to murder after the fact.

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What Are the Penalties for Accessory to Murder in California?

For aiding and abetting a murder before the crime was committed, you could face the same penalties as you would if you had committed the murder yourself. Conviction could carry a lengthy prison term of years or even decades.

Accessory to murder after the fact is a different crime with entirely different penalties. It can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, at the discretion of the prosecution. A misdemeanor conviction could mean a county jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. If charged and convicted of felony accessory to murder, you could be facing up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

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Why Should You Meet With an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away?

Aiding and abetting murder is a serious offense in California that carries severe penalties. If you are facing these charges, it is important to protect your freedom by meeting with an experienced San Diego violent crime defense attorney as soon as possible.

At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we are seasoned legal strategists with the knowledge and skills to fight the charges you are facing. Call us at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free initial consultation. We can advise you of your options under the law.

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James N. Dicks

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