Home > It's A Legal Matter > Aiding a crime

Aiding a crime

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader

2013-05-16


Ellen worried about her nineteen year old son, Michael. Michael was much more of a follower than a leader. Ellen didn’t like her son’s new friends. They weren’t in school and it didn’t appear that they had jobs. She had a bad feeling about them. She told Michael not to trust them and to stay away from them.

Even though Michael lived at home, she saw him less and less each month. Michael was taking two college courses and he also had a part-time job.

Ellen doesn’t know this yet, but last night Michael (who is not a real person by the way) drove his new friends to a party. He always drove. A little after midnight, Michael’s friends told him they needed to pick up some party supplies from some dude. They needed Michael to drive them.

They arrived at the place that looked like a closed business of some sort. They told Michael to park on the street. His friends got out of the car and told Michael to wait in the car. He watched the guys go around to the back of the building. Michael followed their instructions (he always did).

A few minutes later, the guys returned to the car carrying bottles of different types of liquor. Michael could hear an alarm that sounded like it was coming from the building. “Go. Drive!” They said. Michael sped off.

Michael’s friends were laughing and showing off the different types of bottles of booze. Michael kept driving. His friends wanted to go back to the party. Michael wasn’t in the mood. He dropped them off and then drove home, alone.

Michael was scared. He now suspected his friends had broken in to the building and stolen the liquor. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to get them in trouble. They were his friends.

In Indiana, a person who knowingly or intentionally aids, induces, or causes another person to commit an offense commits that same offense. Michael’s friends committed a burglary to a business, which is a Class C felony punishable up to eight years in prison. Michael could be charged with aiding burglary, a Class C felony, and could receive the same punishment or an even more severe sentence than those who actually broke into the business and stole.

Did Michael knowingly or intentionally aid, induce or cause his friends to commit the crime?

In just a few hours, a detective will knock on the front door of Michael’s parents’ home. She will tell Michael that she had a long talk with his friends and that she is aware that he was the “look out” and the “get away” driver for his friends. She will tell him that she knows he drove the other men to the business and then waited out front with his car running. She will also explain that she is aware that the other three men returned to the car carrying multiple bottles of alcohol after an alarm had been triggered within the business.
The detective will go on to tell Michael that his friends said that the burglary was Michael’s idea and that Michael had told them to enter around back through an unlocked window…

Michael will realize that his mother was right, again.

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Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you.

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