You cannot be charged as an Accomplice in a crime under Nevada law (NRS 195). The difference between a person who aids and abets a criminal act, and a person who physically performs a criminal act is not recognized by the state, hence the law. No matter if the person directly commits the act, or aids or abets in its commission, both are considered principals of the crime. With this in mind, we at Kajioka & Associates, Attorneys at Law, would like to further discuss this subject.
What Does it Mean to Be an Accomplice?
An accomplice has knowledge about the criminal act prior to its completion and aids and abets in the crime’s commission through direct or indirect counsel, encouragement, or hiring or otherwise providing another person to commit a gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor, or felony as opposed to an Accessory After the Fact who learns of the commission of a criminal act after its completion. The same crime will be charged to both the accomplice and the perpetrator.
What is Considered Aiding & Abetting?
The list below are examples of Aiding and Abetting a crime.
– Escape for the criminal is provided, like driving a getaway vehicle.
– Offering information used to commit a crime knowingly.
– For someone who committed a crime, you knowingly and falsely provide an alibi
– Commit bank, mail, or wire fraud
– Give assistance in a kidnapping
– While a crime is committed, you act as a lookout
What Happens when You Get Charged with Aiding & Abetting?
The punishments for the underlying crime apply to both since an accomplice and a perpetrator are charged with the same crime. For both perpetrator and accomplice, for example, aiding and abetting a robbery results in charges of robbery. Another example is the law (NRS 200.340) sets forth the same prison term of 2 to 15 years in state prison but does not impose the fine of up to $15,000 for aiding and abetting the kidnapping in a second degree kidnapping case.
How Do You Defend Aiding & Abetting Charges?
What does not qualify as aiding and abetting is being the scene of a crime, or even knowing that a crime is being committed. The intent to commit a crime and actively participating in the crime is the key.
1) Unless you were actively involved in the criminal act, even knowing that the crime was to be committed as knowing or associating with someone who commits a crime is not enough to qualify as an accomplice.
2) After the crime had taken place, you could be accused of aiding and abetting. You could be charged as accessory after the fact, but not as an accomplice if you had no knowledge of the crime prior to its occurrence.
3) Prior to its commission, you may have gotten cold feet and withdrawn from the crime. Your attorney can move that the charges be dropped and attempted to prevent the crime by notifying police if you have informed other parties to the crime of your withdrawal.
4) It is up to the state to prove its accusations beyond a reasonable doubt in every criminal case.