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Aiding and Abetting: You Can Be Held Liable for Another Person’s Crime

A person who helps another person commit a crime can face criminal charges. Aiding and abetting, sometimes known as accomplice liability, is a legal tool that imposes penalties that are the same as those of the actual crime itself. A key factor in the case of a person charged with aiding and abetting a crime is the level of help he or she provided.

Criminal Liability for Another Person’s Crime

Minnesota Statutes can hold a person criminally responsible for a crime committed by another person if he or she aided or abetted the crime. Intentionally helping, guiding, hiring, scheming, encouraging, or otherwise getting someone else to commit a crime are all components of aiding and abetting liability. If a person assists a friend to plan a bank robbery, for instance, that person can be criminally liable for the bank robbery.

The aiding and abetting law is quite broad. Consequently, almost anything that helps in the commission of a crime could be a ground for aiding and abetting liability. An accomplice can be held criminally responsible for any new offense committed during the planned crime if the new offense was reasonably foreseeable. A person who aids a bank robbery, for instance, would be liable for assault or murder if a bank employee is assaulted or killed during the robbery

A person charged with aiding and abetting in Minneapolis, MN, requires legal representation from a Minneapolis criminal lawyer to lower the odds of further prosecution. The lawyer can offer insight and direction from the start of the legal process to the case determination. The lawyer can also help the accused person prepare adequately for his or her day in court.

Avoiding Criminal Liability for Another Person’s Crime in Minnesota

Under Minnesota law, a person can avoid aiding or abetting liability if he or she quits the crime and makes a justifiable effort to avert the crime. In simple terms, a person who abandons a criminal scheme and takes reasonable steps to stop it can use the abandonment of the crime as a defense against his or her criminal liability.

There is no specific criterion for determining what qualifies as a justifiable effort to stop the commission of a crime. For this reason, reporting the crime to the police and notifying the targeted victim may both qualify as a justifiable effort to avert the commission of a crime.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.