What are the Penalties for Aiding and Abetting a Crime in Los Angeles?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Apr 04, 2016 | 0 Comments

If you are convicted of aiding and abetting a crime under Penal Code 31 PC, you will receive the same punishment as someone who actually committed that crime.

This is because "aiding and abetting" is not actually a separate crime under the California Penal Code. Instead, as Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers know, it is a legal principle under which responsibility for a crime is shared equally among everybody who participated in perpetrating it.

So, if you aid and abet a crime, you are basically considered to have perpetrated that crime--and will face the same consequences as the person who actually committed it.

Here is an example: let's say a woman is planning to commit burglary of her neighbor's house. She lets her boyfriend know about her plans. He tells her he thinks that's a great idea and gives her some tools that she can use to break into the house. Under PC 31, California's aiding and abetting law, both the woman and her boyfriend will face criminal penalties under PC 459, California's burglary law.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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