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Aiding, Abetting, and Partner-in-Crime Laws in Wisconsin

Tune into any crime show on TV and you’ll hear the term “aiding and abetting” at some point. These two terms are usually mentioned together and are often treated as one charge, but they are different crimes. Aiding and abetting can land you in jail even if you didn’t participate in the actual committing of a crime. However, unlike on many TV shows, aiding and abetting in Wisconsin applies to active help, and not just being an unwitting bystander.

Aiding someone with a crime is what it sounds like; you’re aiding, or helping, someone commit a crime. This can be actions like driving a getaway car, letting someone in through a door that’s for staff only so that person can access the intended crime scene, acting as a lookout, and so on. Abetting is encouraging the person to commit a crime, such as goading them on as they commit the crime or even just encouraging them to do it when they’re merely thinking about it.

To be guilty of aiding and abetting (one, the other, or both), you have to know what you’re doing and what could result from your actions. Someone who lets a criminal into a building through a limited access door in order for that person to commit a crime is guilty of aiding. Someone who holds the door open for someone entering a building without knowing that the person is planning to commit a crime is not aiding.

If you’re facing a charge of aiding and abetting, contact Eisenberg Law Offices immediately at (608) 256-8356. You need help fighting those charges – do not assume everything will be fine and that you won’t need legal representation.