What is the penalty for "aiding and abetting" in Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 31, 2015 | 0 Comments

Under Nevada law, there is no difference between people who physically carry out a crime ("the principals") and their accomplices who help them carry out the crime. Consequently, aiding and abetting someone to violate the law carries identical punishment as if the accomplice carried out the crime him/herself.

Like it sounds, aiding and abetting is defined as helping, encouraging, or counseling the principal to engage in criminal activity. Typical examples of accomplice behavior include:

  • being a getaway driver
  • keeping a lookout
  • channeling crucial information to someone that could help him/her commit a crime

Note that aiding and abetting does not necessarily qualify as a conspiracy under Nevada law. A conspiracy requires two or more people to agree to commit a crime. In contrast, a person can aid and abet without ever having made an agreement. Common defenses to aiding and abetting include:

  • the defendant was merely present at the crime scene
  • the defendant had no knowledge of the crime
  • the defendant withdrew from aiding and abetting the crime by telling everyone involved that he/she is withdrawing and by trying to hamper the crime from taking place

The majority of Nevada criminal cases carry the same penalties for principals and their accomplices. A notable exception involves 2nd-degree kidnapping, where aiding and abetting carries the same prison sentence as being the principal but no fine. Read more information on the Nevada crime of aiding and abetting.


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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