What is Aiding and Abetting a Drug Crime?

If a person approves and agrees to the commission of a drug crime, then he will be treated the same as the person who is accused of actually committing the crime.  This is referred to as “aiding and abetting.”

How does a person aid and abet a drug crime?

It’s simple.  Either he actively participates in a delivery or grow or knowingly advises or encourages it beforehand.

Aiding and abetting may be inferred from circumstantial evidence including companionship and conduct surrounding the transaction.  This is because knowledge of a person’s state of mind is seldom capable of direct proof.

For example, let’s say a person facilitates the delivery of marijuana by driving another to the location and standing by while it goes down.  That may demonstrate knowledge of what was about to occur.  The driver doesn’t have to handle any marijuana or money.  Or even urge the consummation.

This is why it’s very important to not volunteer any statements to police.  A person’s unprovoked comment, to the effect that he “just drove” another, can provide circumstantial evidence from which a reasonable juror could find the driver knew of the impending sale.

The same is true for roommates who reside together in a place where police find a grow operation.  Even if one of them accepts responsibility, the State will certainly argue that it couldn’t occur without the knowledge and assent of the other.  Did that latter accept deliveries of grow lights, nutrient supplements or ventilation equipment?  Yes, that is evidence of aiding and abetting.

A person’s mere presence, however, is not sufficient unless it’s coupled with evidence of knowledge.

The drug defense attorneys at GRL Law know how to zealously defend the charge of aiding and abetting.  It’s what we do.