Section For Aiding And Abetting In The Criminal Code
Aiding and abetting is considered as a liability by courts and not really as a separate crime. 18 U.S.C. § 2 of the federal law deals with this liability. Though the federal criminal prosecutions have been stated clearly, the extent of the liability differs from one statute to another.
The following are the elements that define the liability of aiding and abetting:
- Violation of a principal
- Knowledge of the violation
- Intention to facilitate the deed
- Assistance to the criminal deed
The criminal code of the United States defines aiding and abetting as a federal crime. According to law, any individual who counsels, aids, commands, abets, procures or induces the committing of offense is punishable. In addition, a person who performs an act or causes an act to be done is also punishable.
If the individual performs an act of aiding or abetting, he / she would be convicted and the punishment would be the same as sentenced for the criminal. However in some states, the sentence may be slightly lesser.
According to the Supreme Court, the person who is charged of aiding and abetting needs to be involved in some way either directly or indirectly to facilitate the deed. This means that mere presence at the scene of crime does not really make your liable. The logic behind punishing the abettor is the knowledge of the strategies or the intent of assisting to execute the deed.
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