Los Angeles Aiding and Abetting Defense Attorneys
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.