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.

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