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Los Angeles Aiding and Abetting Defense Attorneys


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Being convicted of a crime can ruin a person’s life. The sage old advice is to simply avoid committing any crimes. But what if you never participated in a crime? What if you weren’t even at a crime scene when it happened, but are arrested anyway? This may come as a nasty shock, but under California law, if you are found to have aided a crime in any way, you could find yourself behind bars for years to come.

Few people expect to be charged with aiding and abetting, and so few people are prepared to defend themselves. However, we at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP are always ready to go to bat for our clients. With years of experience working as Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, we can help you get the outcome you want. To find out what your options are, call our team at (213) 688-0460 to speak to one of our skilled attorneys.

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What Is “Aiding and Abetting”?

You may have heard “aiding and abetting” tossed around in cop dramas, but you may not know what this crime involves. Essentially, if you are charged with aiding and abetting, it means that you allegedly helped, facilitated, or encouraged a crime. Even if you did not directly participate in said crime, you could still be facing serious penalties. Helping criminal activities in any way is illegal in California.

For example, if you helped a friend plan a bank robbery, and that friend was caught and convicted, you could be facing a similar conviction. This is true even if you did not actively commit robbery, or even if you avoided the scene of the crime altogether. The fact that you helped plan it alone is considered illegal. Say you were not involved in the actual planning -- so long as you knew about the illegal activity and you encouraged it to happen, then you would still be aiding and abetting.

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The Penalties You Face

There are no set penalties for the crime of aiding and abetting. This is because it is an accessory crime, as in it is linked to another crime. This means that penalties can vary based on the crime you alleged aided. If you are accused of aiding in a kidnapping, then you would face the same penalties as the actual kidnappers.

This means that an aiding and abetting conviction could result in minor penalties, if you allegedly aided a misdemeanor crime, or it could result in severe penalties, such as tens of thousands of dollars in fines and decades behind bars. While aiding and abetting may seem like a minor charge in the surface, depending on the accompanying crime, a conviction could completely derail your life. Building a reliable and strong defense as soon as you are arrested is key if you want to have your charges lessened or dropped completely.

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You Need to Build a Strong Defense

Thankfully, the prosecution has the burden of proof. When on trial, you do not need to prove that you are innocent, rather, you just need to create reasonable doubt in the jury’s mind and make it difficult to say whether you truly aided and abetted or not. When it comes to a charge of aiding and abetting, this can be done through arguing:

  • You did not help, encourage, or facilitate the crime
  • You withdrew from the criminal act long before it was committed
  • You have been falsely accused
  • You did not have a legal duty to report the crime
  • You helped the criminal act only after it was over
  • The officers who arrested you committed misconduct

When it comes to aiding and abetting, a conviction requires that you helped or facilitated the actual criminal act. Knowledge of the crime alone is not enough to lead to a conviction, and, in most cases, you are not under a legal obligation to report a crime before it happens. This means that the prosecution must be able to show that you helped the crime in some way. If you did not, or there is no evidence that you did, then a charge of aiding and abetting will not hold up in court.

However, even if the prosecution has an uphill battle to prove that you were involved in a crime, assuming they won’t be able to get a conviction would be foolish. It is in your own best interests to seek a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help you build a strong defense. Without that help, you may find yourself behind bars in the blink of an eye.

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Call (213) 688-0460 for Top Legal Advice

It can be starling to be suddenly charged with aiding and abetting. After all, you may have no idea a crime took place. You may be minding your own business at work when police officers walk in and slap handcuffs around your wrists. We at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP understand what a frightening time this can be for you and your family. That is why we want to offer you the help that you need. We fight for our clients and do everything we can to ensure the best possible outcome at trial. To speak with a member of our incredible team, call us at (213) 688-0460 today.

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Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today
Phone: (213) 688-0460
Fax: (213) 624-1942

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