Search The Library's Lexicon
The guilt of a person in a criminal case may be proved without evidence that he personally did every act involved in the commission of the crime charged. The law recognizes that, ordinarily, anything a person can do for himself may also be accomplished through direction of another person as an agent, or by acting together with, or under the direction of, another person or persons in a joint effort.
So, if the acts or conduct of an agent, employee or other associate of the person are willfully directed or authorized by the person, or if the person aids and abets another person by willfully joining together with that person in the commission of a crime, then the law holds the person responsible for the conduct of that other person just as though the person had engaged in such conduct himself.x Notice, however, that before any person can be held criminally responsible for the conduct of others it is necessary that the person willfully associate himself in some way with the crime, and willfully participate in it. Mere presence at the scene of a crime and even knowledge that a crime is being committed are not sufficient to establish that a person either directed or aided and abetted the crime.