Aiding and Abetting Defense in Fresno
Criminal Defense Attorneys Protecting Your Rights
In California, individuals can be charged with a crime through aiding and abetting, also known as accomplice liability, when they directly or indirectly assist in the commission of a crime. Aiding and Abetting laws can be particularly complicated as the prosecution can push for a conviction even when a defendant was not present at the time of the offense or did not directly commit the act themselves. This is a tremendously serious situation and those suspected of helping to facilitate a crime are not charged with “aiding and abetting”, but with the crime itself.
If you have been accused of a crime through the aiding and abetting of a criminal act, it is vital to secure the services of our Fresno criminal defense lawyers. At Wapner Jones, PC, we will do everything in our power to see that the charges against you are dropped or reduced. If you want to know where you stand in your case, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.
What our attorneys can bring to the table:
- 65+ years of combined trial-tested experience
- Former deputy district attorneys on your side
- National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trail Lawyers in CA
- “Superb” Avvo Rating (Attorney Wapner)
Questions regarding your case? Schedule a FREE consultation and speak to an attorney today.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Aiding and Abetting?
On the simplest level, aiding and abetting can occur when an individual helps another party to commit a crime. It is not a crime in its own right but a legal theory which can allow the prosecution to bring charges against an accomplice who was involved at any level of a criminal act. For those who are convicted, California law does not draw a distinction between the principle perpetrators and those liable for aiding and abetting. This means that if you help or assist in the commission of a crime, you can be charged with the same and full penalties as the individual who actually committed the offense, no matter how small of a role you played.
To prove guilt through the legal theory of aiding and abetting, the prosecution must show that:
- Defendants were aware that a crime was being committed
- Defendants willfully helped, aided, encouraged, or facilitated the crime
It is often the case that a single event will lead to multiple charges against those who committed a crime. Determining liability in cases involving the aiding and abetting of a criminal act can be complex. Depending on the circumstances of the case, an accomplice may be charged with crimes that could have been reasonably foreseen to occur. For example, if an individual utilizes a weapon during a robbery, accomplices may be charged with acts stemming from the use of said weapon if they were aware of its intended use as part of the crime.
Defense of Aiding and Abetting
At our law firm, both of our partner attorneys are former prosecutors who know how the prosecution can structure the case against you and how to defend against the charges you may face. The circumstantial nature of proving liability under the theory of aiding and abetting demands the defense of experienced attorneys.
Possible defenses our firm can employ include:
- You played no role in the crime: Witnessing a crime in progress does not constitute aiding and abetting and you should not incur charges for simply being present when a criminal act occurs.
- Falsely accused: The perpetrator of a crime may falsely identifying accomplices and can have numerous reasons for doing so including pursuing a reduced sentence or feelings of anger.
- Accessory after the fact: If the involvement of a defendant can only be shown to have occurred after a crime took place, the charge of accessory after the fact may lead to a less severe punishment.
Attorneys Defending Your Rights Across the Central Valley
When you are facing charges or an investigation of aiding and abetting a criminal act, it is important to act quickly and contact the criminal defense lawyers in Fresno at our firm. We know that when you have been accused of a crime, it can be difficult to know what to do or where to turn for help. At Wapner Jones, PC, we will work with you to discuss the facts of your case as well as your legal options in a free consultation.
Call our firm at (559) 257-4707 and together we can build a hard-hitting defense.