Facing an arrest in Texas is serious. However, while some may pass with just a slap on the wrist, others may rise to a higher level of accountability. Even if you do not take part in a criminal act, you may still find yourself facing charges.
If the police believe you had a role in a crime, you may face the same criminal penalties as those who committed the act. Aiding and abetting under Texas law is a serious charge. Juan L. Guerra, Jr. & Associates, PLLC, aims to help you understand the accusations you may face if you take part in a criminal activity. Discover what it means to aid and abet to avoid an indictment.
Aiding and abetting as defined under Texas law
Under the Texas penal code, if you help another person commit a crime or knew about it, you may wind up in jail. The prosecution must show one of the following:
- You knew someone was going to do something illegal, and you did not report it or stop it. For instance, a friend tells you he is going to rob a grocery store, and you do not prevent it.
- You purposely helped facilitate a crime by assisting, encouraging, directing or hiding it. One example is letting fleeing friends hide in your basement.
- You solicit someone else to engage in a crime on your behalf. You hire someone to kill your spouse.
Punishment for aiding and abetting
The law does not care that you did not directly participate in a crime. If you meet one of the three scenarios above, you will receive a felony. The punishments range from two years for petty theft up to life in prison for murder.
Taking a back seat in a crime may seem harmless, but the law does not agree. For some further insight into how felony charges work, visit our website here.