Houston Federal Aiding and Abetting Defense Lawyer

Houston, TX federal aiding and abetting charges lawyer

Experienced Legal Defense Against Federal Aiding and Abetting Charges

In general, people who engage in illegal activity may face criminal charges based on their direct intentional violations of the law. Those who assist with or facilitate criminal activity may also be charged with crimes, even if they did not directly engage in the alleged activities. Under federal law, aiding and abetting is as serious as, and that can result in the same consequences as, the crimes that are abetted. If you or someone you know has been charged with aiding and abetting a federal crime, it is crucial to seek experienced legal representation immediately. At Bennett & Bennett, we have represented many clients who have faced federal charges, and we can help you determine the best strategies for defending against aiding and abetting charges.

What Does Aiding and Abetting Mean?

The federal government may take action to hold individuals accountable for their role in assisting or encouraging other people's criminal activities. To be found guilty of aiding and abetting under federal law, the government must prove the following elements:

  1. The defendant knew about the specific criminal activity being committed.
  2. The defendant willingly participated or helped in some way.
  3. The defendant intended to facilitate or encourage the underlying crime.
  4. The offense in question was actually committed by someone else.

In other words, simply having knowledge that a crime is taking place without actively participating or intending to support it is generally insufficient to establish liability for aiding and abetting. Association with people who committed federal offenses or providing assistance without knowledge that a crime would be committed may not rise to the level of aiding and abetting. Prosecutors must prove that a person actively participated in criminal activity with the intent to carry out a federal offense.

Examples of Aiding and Abetting

There are numerous scenarios in which a person may face charges for aiding and abetting a federal offense. Some examples include:

  • Bank robbery: If an individual participates in planning a robbery, acts as a lookout, provides information on security protocols, or serves as a getaway driver, they could potentially be charged with aiding and abetting.
  • Drug trafficking: Someone who owns or occupies properties used for drug manufacturing, arranges for drugs to be transported across state lines, finances drug-related operations, provides weapons to traffickers, or otherwise assists with the distribution of controlled substances could be charged with federal drug crimes.
  • White-collar crimes: A person who helps orchestrate or facilitate fraud schemes, such as securities fraud, money laundering, or insider trading, may be held liable for aiding and abetting these offenses.
  • Terrorism: Individuals who provide financial support, shelter, transportation, weapons, or assistance of any kind to terrorists with the knowledge that they are planning or committing acts of terrorism can face charges for aiding and abetting under federal anti-terrorism laws.
  • Racketeering: In cases involving organized crime activities like bribery, extortion, or illegal gambling operations, people who are involved in facilitating these unlawful activities can be charged with aiding and abetting.

Potential Consequences of Aiding and Abetting

A person who aids and abets a federal offense faces the same penalties as the principal who is primarily responsible for committing a crime. That is, aiding and abetting can result in a person being charged and prosecuted as if they had actually committed the offense in question. Someone who is found guilty of aiding and abetting a federal offense may face substantial fines that can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars, and they may be required to serve a lengthy sentence in a federal prison.

Contact Our Houston Federal Crimes Defense Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been charged with aiding and abetting a federal offense, it is important to make sure you will be represented by an attorney who has experience in these matters. The team at Bennett & Bennett provides dedicated representation for people who are facing federal charges, including those who are accused of assisting with criminal activities. We understand how serious these allegations are, and we are ready to offer knowledgeable guidance while building effective defense strategies. Contact us at 713-224-1747 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

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