Am I Guilty Just Because I was There?

Originally posted on Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges:

By Collin County Criminal Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

In Texas, mere presence at a crime scene alone is insufficient to sustain a conviction.  The difference between just being at a crime scene and doing something which can be considered aiding or abetting is paper thin, however.  And if you’re complicit in an offense — you can be held equally responsible.

Texas has what is called the law of parties in criminal cases.  It is governed by Section 7.02 of the Texas Penal Code.

Tex.Pen.C. 7.02(2) says that if a person, “solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense…” then they are criminally liable as well.  I’ve italicized the words above to show just how liberal the application of that law can be.

Let me give you a hypothetical of how this rule applies.  Take two 18-year old boys at…

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