A person who commits a crime must usually have to face the music. In some cases, the person who commits the crime finds people who are willing to help him or her out after the crime. This can become a criminal matter for the person who gives that assistance.
What is aiding and abetting?
Aiding and abetting occurs when a person helps someone who has committed a crime or is going to commit a crime through financial support or other means. It is important to note that the help that is given has to either help with the commission of the crime or help with covering up the crime.
Why are aiding and abetting illegal?
Aiding and abetting are illegal because they help the crime to occur. Aiding and abetting can involving something like sharing a family's normal schedule so a person can rob the home. It can also involve something like letting someone store stolen goods in your home or vehicle. Both of these would be criminal acts if you knew that the person was going to commit a crime using the information you provided or had committed a crime and needed to store evidence.
There are some instances in which a person's actions could be so involved in a crime that he or she is charged with conspiracy or acting as an accessorry to the crime. These are often more serious crimes that have very severe penalties associated with them. If you are facing any of these criminal charges, you need to learn of your options for a defense so you can answer to the charges placed against you.
Source: FindLaw, "Aiding and Abetting/Accessory," accessed July 29, 2016