Aiding & Abetting
Aiding and abetting occurs when a person helps another in the commission
of a crime. This is defined under Florida Statutes §220.905 (2011)
as the aiding, counseling and conspiring with another person to partake
in a willful or fraudulent act (as outlined in §220.901) or a willful
failure to pay over (as outlined in §220.903); per the statutes,
should a person be found guilty of this crime, they will face the same
penalties as the actual perpetrator.
Any time a person helps someone who committed a crime, they can be charged
with aiding and abetting. This is true even if the person did not commit
the crime in question, but merely played a minor role in it. A person
who partakes in any element of a crime can be charged with aiding and
abetting because the law views assistance as “joint effort.”
People who assist with the commission of a crime or who are aware but
don't report it are labeled accomplices.
Why hire Thomas & Paulk?
Accomplices who are charged with aiding and abetting are susceptible to
legal action from law enforcement, just like criminal offenders. For this
reason, it is always a wise idea for people who have been charged with
aiding and abetting to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
Even if their role in the crime was not substantial, people facing aiding
and abetting charges need aggressive legal representation from an experienced
lawyer to help avoid further prosecution. A lawyer can get involved from
the beginning of the legal process and provide insight and direction as
the person’s case progresses.
Additionally, your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with judges and
prosecutors to possibly have the person’s charges reduced, or in
some cases, dismissed entirely.