Aiding, Abetting, and Accessory to a Crime
Aiding, abetting, and being an accessory to a crime can result in a serious prison sentence depending on the type of crime the other person committed. If you helped another person commit a crime, you will likely face criminal charges yourself. However, if you were simply in the room when your friend assaulted someone and robbed them, and you had no part in it, you did nothing wrong.
In order to be an accomplice to a crime, you must have known that the person was planning on committing the crime and help him or her in some way to commit the crime. Helping to commit the crime does not mean that you had to have a physical hand in the act. Providing knowledge of how to commit the crime, financial assistance, or other aid will suffice when it comes to aiding and abetting.
If you are facing aiding, abetting, and accessory crimes, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney at once.
Criminal Liability Stems from Accountability for Another’s Conduct
Even if you did not commit a criminal act, such as pulling the trigger of a gun during a murder, you can still be tried for a crime. This is because under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5, you may have accountability for the conduct of another. You may be held legally accountable for another’s unlawful actions when:
- With the mental state that describes the crime committed, you caused another to perform the illegal conduct and the other person lacked the mental state that was necessary to be charged with that crime;
- The specific crime committed makes you accountable, as defined in that particular statute; or
- Before or during the commission of the offense, and with intent, you solicited, aided, abetted, agreed, or attempted to aid the other person in the planning or commission of the offense.
Refusing to Help, Warning the Authorities, or Being a Victim of the Offense
There are a number of options for legal defense when it comes to aiding and abetting charges. Simply being present at the offense or having knowledge of the offense are not always enough for the prosecution to make a charge stick. A few options for legal defense include being a victim of the offense that was committed, terminating all of your efforts to help in the commission of the offense before it happens, giving timely warning to law enforcement officers of the planned offense, or making another effort to stop the crime from taking place before it occurs.
Contact a Naperville Attorney Today
If you are facing aiding and abetting charges, contact the law office of Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today to speak with a passionate Naperville criminal defense attorney at once. Additionally, hiding a fugitive is a Class 4 felony, as described by Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/31-5. We strongly urge you to contact an attorney at once for legal representation.