Party to a Crime
Section 939.05 of the Criminal Code of Wisconsin provides that whoever is concerned in the commission of a crime is a party to that crime and may be convicted of that crime although that person did not directly commit it.
There are two ways in which a Defendant can be a Party to a Crime. The State can charge that the Defendant either Directly Committed the Crime, or intentionally aided or abetted another person in the commission of the Crime.
While the first way someone could be a Party to a Crime is very straightforward, namely that the person directly committed the crime, the second way, by aiding or abetting another, or others in the commission of the crime, can be far more subjective.
The second way someone could be charged with a crime that they didn’t personally commit is by aiding or abetting another, or others. In order for the State to prove this, the State would have to prove that someone either assisted someone who committed the crime or, was ready and willing to assist the person who actually committed the crime.
Prosecutors in the State of Wisconsin use Party to a Crime, pursuant to sec. 939.05 Wis. Stats., in a variety of criminal charges. Many of the more common charges are Drug Possession, Drug Delivery, Burglary, Theft and Robbery charges.
It is very important to hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer who understands the nuances involved in Wisconsin Criminal Charges which are charged pursuant to sec. 939.05 Wis. Stats., because simply “being there” does not constitute being a Party to a Crime.