Aiding and Abetting a Crime – Now You Know

So, you knew and planned, or took it from the thief and took it somewhere else, you trespassed onto my property. Actually, car unlocked, but you still stole something. You don’t have to have committed the actual crime to be charged with aiding and abetting.

Aiding and Abetting a Crime (Penal Code section 31)

In California, you can be charged with the crime that was committed if you aided or abetted in its commission, but did not actually commit the crime yourself. Penal Code section 31 describes the phrase “aiding and abetting” as meaning that you assisted another person to commit a crime. Prosecutors can charge you as an aider and abettor whenever you:

  • Know the perpetrator’s illegal plan,
  • Intentionally encourage and/or facilitate that plan, and
  • Aid, promote, or instigate in the crime’s commission.

You don’t have to be actually present at the scene of the crime to be charged under what is known as “accomplice liability.” If you willfully participated in the planning of a crime prior to its commission, you can be held criminally liable as an “accessory before the fact.”

OR, you knew someone was going to break into my apartment. There is misdemeanor accessory after the fact also.

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