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Is Aiding and Abetting the Same as Being an Accessory to a Crime?

The commission of some crimes might be carried out by multiple people, who may have varying degrees of involvement: planning the act, directly committing the offense, or supporting the perpetrator in some way after the act has been committed. Because of this, Nevada law distinguishes between two types of parties in the commission of a crime:

  1. Principals
  2. Accessories

Based on the state’s legal definitions, aiding and abetting is not the same as being an accessory to a crime.

Aiding and Abetting Defined

Aiding and abetting is the act of assisting, counseling, or encouraging someone to commit a gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor, or felony. For example, a person who provides a gun to someone who uses the firearm to commit armed robbery is considered to have aided in the commission of the offense. The person who aids or abets is considered a principal of the crime regardless of whether or not they physically committed the act or were present when it happened. As such, they are charged with the same offense as the person who directly carried out the crime and face the same penalties as the perpetrator.

Accessory Defined

As defined by N.R.S. 195.030, an accessory is a person who, after a crime has been committed, destroys or conceals evidence or harbors the perpetrator to protect them from punishment. To be an accessory, the individual must know that the offender committed a crime. If the perpetrator committed a felony, the accessory could be charged with a category C felony. However, if the accessory is a sibling, parent, grandparent, child, or grandchild of the perpetrator, they could be charged with a gross misdemeanor.

If the perpetrator committed a gross misdemeanor, the accessory will be punished by 30 days to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $100 to $500.

Schedule a Free Consultation with the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover

Backed by 20 years of experience, our attorney knows how to develop legal strategies to aggressively fight against criminal charges. We have had success at getting charges reduced, dismissed, and dropped, and we will provide solid legal counsel to help obtain a favorable outcome on your behalf.

If you have been charged, call us at (775) 502-1575 or contact us online.