“Aiding & Abetting” was a huge issue that nearly tore our family apart even though it only went on for one month.
THANK GOD it’s been over for a very long time but I worked arm-in-arm with probation to bring that person to justice. Albeit not my family member who was the “runner”, it involved someone very close to me who I was trying to help educate so he would protect himself and his marriage. However, it was very frustrating for me because the person who was committing “A & A” would not listen to me when I tried to issue warnings and show proof, even though I have hung around law enforcement as my career for over 30 years. Ho-hum… you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink. Plus “ignorance of the law” is NO excuse and holds ZERO power in the court system.
So I am sharing this information to help others avoid issues and also because “Aiding & Abetting” is a HUGE indicator of co-dependency.
Maybe YOU will know someone who needs (& may actually listen to) this advice…
- NEVER, EVER put your freedom on the line for someone running from the police, NO MATTER how much you LOVE the “runner”. Oftentimes, the BEST love is “tough love”.
- NEVER be more invested in someone’s life than they are.
Now… WHAT IS A&A?
Aiding & Abetting (A&A) is an act that is committed while helping a person run from the law or helping protect or hide someone who is currently in the process of committing a crime. Although this should be obvious… “YES, running from the law IS a crime!”
In fact, YOU could be charged with aiding and abetting (& more) if you have knowledge of, or have *unknowingly* participated in, the crime in some way before and / or after the actual crime occurred… even if you did not know that specific person at the time of the crime… and even years after it was committed.
Keep in mind that if you KNOW someone is a “runner” and has a warrant, this is a choice THEY are making while YOU choose to put your freedom on the line.
HOW? Because “knowledge of a crime and not reporting it is also a crime in and of itself” (a crime that YOU are choosing to commit). So if you know someone is running from the law, do NOT help them!
HOW DO YOU COMMIT A&A?
Most of the time it is done *innocently* such as:
- giving that individual money,
- providing a hotel room for one or several nights,
- car rides (yes, even if paying for Uber, Lyft, or a cab),
- buying them a plane or bus ticket,
- providing a couch to sleep on (even for a few hours), etc.
Basically ANYthing that continues to help them “get by” or “survive on the streets” while they CHOOSE to continue eluding the law! In other words, they are busy making terrible choices and now have gotten YOU involved. Not only is them asking you to help unfair to you but… YOU CAN GET ARRESTED TOO. They know this but they do NOT care about you (only themselves) otherwise, they would not have asked you for help at all!!
Depending upon the state’s laws, penalties for “Aiding and Abetting” can include:
- felony charges (criminal record),
- up to LIFE in prison,
- community service,
- driver’s license suspension,
- VERY large fines $$$$$,
- loss of future employment & education opportunities,
- loss of current job and / or occupational license,
- loss of voting rights,
- loss of gun-carrying rights,
- probation, etc.
- and you may lose your marriage and never see your children / grandchildren again.
Keep in mind, if it’s in multiple states YOU can face the same harsh penalties including multiple criminal / felony charges in ALL states (ie: aiding & abetting, harboring a fugitive, interfering with an investigation, etc.)
NOBODY’s – I repeat – NOBODY’S bad choices are worth YOU losing your life or freedom for. The VERY BEST thing you can do is have NO contact with the “runner” at all, and NEVER lie to the police (which can add even more charges). The 2nd BEST thing you can do when the “runner” contacts you is say, “I love you but I cannot help you. You need to turn yourself in” OR if they call and insist that you pick them up, say “yes” but do NOT pick them up. I realize this is deceptive but ultimately you will be doing them a favor! So instead of picking them up, immediately call the police / probation officer and give them the “runners” location. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING (audio is even better and there are free apps such as this one) because that documentation could keep you out of jail!
That’s not all… getting arrested would be minor compared to what could happen to you such as:
- YOU COULD GET KILLED by police if they catch you with the “runner” and the “runner” is uncooperative… just by getting caught in the cross-fire.
- YOU COULD GET KILLED by non-police if your “runner” has some enemies (and most likely does), and *they* find him first.
Bottom line is… do NOT take chances.
Finally, you should already know this but let me remind you anyway… often, the BEST help is absolutely NONE at all.
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