Thursday, December 16, 2010

Aiding and Abetting - 18 U.S.C. § 2

The government can also convict a defendant for a substantive offense under the aiding and abetting statute -18 U.S.C. § 2. There is no separate penalty for § 2. To prove a substantive charge under a theory of aiding and abetting, the government has to prove that the defendant knowingly associated himself with the criminal venture and sought to make the venture a success. Judge Learned Hand set out the classic definition of aiding and abetting more than half a century ago when he explained that in order for a defendant to be liable as an aider and abettor, he must "in some sort associate himself with the venture, that he participate in it as something that he wishes to bring about, [and] that he seek by his action to make it succeed." As such, the crime of aiding and abetting does not require proof of an agreement to break the law like a conspiracy charge does. However, it does require knowledge of the crime being aided and abetted. The legal axiom "Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea, "the act alone does not amount to guilt; it must be accompanied by a guilty mind" applies to this analysis

For more information visit H. Manuel Hernandez, P.A.

H. Manuel Hernandez has been practicing criminal law for 32 years, the first 10 years as a federal prosecutor, and the last 22 years as a criminal defense attorney. He is dual Board Certified by the Florida Bar as a Criminal Trial Specialist and a Criminal Appellate Specialist by the Florida Bar. He is also Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Criminal Trial Advocate. Mr. Hernández has been rated "AV" in the distinguished Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest rating available in this highly respected legal directory relied on by attorneys when looking for other attorneys to refer cases to or to work with in different areas of the law.

For more information please call the office of attorney H. Manuel Hernández, P.A. 407-682-5553   

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, interesting. I wonder how this might apply to acts, ballots, or even voting.