What Is Aiding And Abetting?
Here in the State of Michigan there is a crime known as aiding and abetting. It is important to understand what acts constitute conviction under the law here in Michigan. The concept may be considered similar to a conspiracy charge, however, aiding and abetting requires different proofs for a prosecutor to obtain a conviction.
First, in order to obtain a conviction under aiding and abetting, the prosecutor must prove that the individual defendant or someone else committed a crime. Further, the individual must have prior to or during the crime, assisted in some manner to commit the crime. Lastly, the individual defendant must have intended for the commission of the crime or knew was going to be committed.
The crime of aiding and abetting comes from common law and was generally a separate and distinct crime; however, it is abrogated by statute here in Michigan pursuant to MCL 767.39. The Statute actually abolishes the distinction between the aider and abettor and the principle. This means that an individual convicted of aiding and abetting will be sentenced (and technically convicted) of the principle offense attached to the elements of the aiding and abetting charge. Therefore, there is no difference (or distinction) between a principle (or leader) and aider and abettor (or supporter) or a crime.
But what is the difference between aiding and abetting and Accessory After the Fact, which is are separate offenses here in Michigan?
The jury will decide if the individual is guilty as aiding and abetting or accessory after the fact. The distinction is subtle, but matters when determining what an individual defendant can be found guilty of. To be found guilty of accessory after the fact the prosecutor must show that the individual defendant had known about the commission of the crime and assisted in the individual who committed the crime from prosecution or after its commission.
Whenever you are charged within a criminal misdemeanor or felony, it is essential to obtain counsel. Josh Jones understands the distinctions in the law and will assist you whenever you are charged within a criminal offense here in Michigan. Contact him today for a free consultation.
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