Aiding and Abetting in South Carolina

The crime of aiding and abetting involves assisting or encouraging someone else to commit a crime. This is commonly referred to as being an “accomplice” or “accessory.” Similar to attempt, aiding and abetting offenses are defined in relation to the specific underlying crimes. For example, under South Carolina’s prostitution statute, § 16-15-90 of the Code of Laws, someone who “aid[s] or abet[s] prostitution knowingly” is subject to the same penalties as someone who engages in prostitution.

Similar to attempt and conspiracy, subjective intent is an element of aiding and abetting. If the prosecution cannot prove that you knew you were involved in the commission of a crime and that you intended to help facilitate the successful commission of the crime, then you are not guilty of the inchoate offense.