In every state, there are rules and regulations for laws that must be followed. These laws in California are called penal codes, simply a set of statutes dealing with criminal offenses.
Due to California’s vast amount of penal codes, it’s hard to understand each of them fully. Learn about Section 31 of California States Penal Codes involving aiding and abetting. The Simmrin Law Group can help you understand this violation and the defenses to use if you have been accused.
California Penal Code Section 31 Defined
Aiding and abetting is a term that is commonly used to describe someone else related to a crime that’s not a perpetrator. This term is used for those who were not present at the time of the crime being committed.
You can be charged for aiding and abetting if you:
- Know the perpetrator’s illegal plans to commit a crime
- Facilitate the illegal plan or intentionally encourage the crime to be carried out
- Aid in the crime, promote the crime, or instigate the crime
- Providing any necessary information to someone who wishes to commit a crime
- Acting as an alibi for someone who has done something illegal
To explain more in detail, aiding and abetting could mean you were serving as a lookout for a crime to be committed or driving the getaway vehicle. On the other hand, you can be charged with this type of crime if you are incapable of committing the crime on your own.
For a free legal consultation with a aiding and abetting lawyer serving California, call (310) 928-9347
Defenses to Section 31
As with any crime, there are possible defenses to committing aiding and abetting. With the assistance of a skilled defense attorney, you may be able to get out of being charged with these crimes if you genuinely weren’t involved.
Here are some defenses to California Penal Code 31:
- You didn’t aid, encourage, or facilitate the crimes committed: For example, if you were a passenger in someone’s car and they decided to rob a bank or commit a crime without knowing, you won’t be held liable. There are countless ways in which a crime could have been misunderstood, and if you’re not intentionally involved, you won’t be charged.
- False accusations: With no evidence of proof needed to be charged for this crime, it’s straightforward to be accused of aiding and abetting. Some may pin crimes on someone else to get out of any punishments or divert criminal activity.
- Withdrawing aid in participating in the criminal activity: If, before committing the crime, you decided not to continue on or carry out the crimes, by letting the other people involved know or trying to prevent the crime from happening ahead of time. This way, you had shown that you withdrew your involvement long before the crime was committed.
- There was no duty to act: Due to the severity of this crime, aiding and abetting isn’t simply knowing a crime is going to be committed; it’s only able to be charged if one has a legal duty to act. You won’t be charged if you don’t need to act when a crime is committed.
- After the crime was committed, you facilitated: For example, if you act in the crime after it’s committed, then you cannot be charged with aiding and abetting. Accessories to crimes and aiding and abetting are quite similar, and when the assistance was carried out will matter the most for the validity of these charges.
The bottom line is that you won’t be charged with a crime by simply knowing about it and who is involved. Being truly charged with aiding and abetting is only done if actions must be committed and if you are willing to assist others in committing a crime.
California Aiding and Abetting Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
Consequences for Aiding and Abetting
If you find yourself being charged for this crime, there are severe consequences that one can face. In some cases, you can also be charged as an accomplice instead of being arrested for this. Both of these changes will bring about different consequences and punishments.
The consequences for these charges will also vary based on the crime committed. However, a charge of being an accessory after the fact of the crime being committed can be punishable by:
- Up to a $5,000 fine
- Up to one year in jail if convicted of a misdemeanor
- Up to three years in prison if you are convicted of a felony
Generally, the punishments for these crimes will be based on natural and probable consequences. This simply means that the consequences will be determined based on the surrounding circumstances and the crime committed.
We Are the Trusted Defense Attorneys for Aiding and Abetting
If you have found yourself in the situation where you are charged with California Penal Code Section 31, there is still much to be done. Due to the variety of these charges, seeking the assistance of a skilled and experienced attorney from Simmrin Law Group will be your best option.
For any questions or concerns you may have, contacting us will be the first step. We are available 24/7 and can support you in any case brought against you.