Define: Abet

Quick Summary of Abet

Abet refers to the act of encouraging, assisting, or facilitating the commission of a crime or wrongdoing. It involves aiding or supporting another person in the planning, preparation, or execution of an unlawful act. Abetment can take various forms, such as providing assistance, advice, encouragement, or financial support to someone who intends to commit a crime. In legal contexts, individuals who aid, abet, or encourage criminal behaviour may be held accountable as accomplices or accessories to the crime, depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case.

What is the dictionary definition of Abet?
Dictionary Definition of Abet

Abet (verb): to encourage, support, or assist someone in carrying out a wrongful or illegal act, often by providing aid, guidance, or resources. It involves actively participating or promoting the commission of a crime, wrongdoing, or harmful behaviour. Abetting can include actions such as providing information, resources, or financial assistance to aid in the execution of an unlawful act. It implies a level of complicity and collaboration with the primary offender.

v. to help someone commit a crime, including helping them escape from police or plan the crime.

Full Definition Of Abet

To encourage or incite another to commit a crime. This word is usually applied to aiding in the commission of a crime. To abet another to commit a murder is to command, procure, counsel, encourage, induce, or assist. To facilitate the commission of a crime, promote its accomplishment, or help in advancing or bringing it about.

In relation to a charge of aiding and abetting, the term includes knowledge of the perpetrator’s wrongful purpose, and encouragement, promotion, or counsel of another in the commission of the criminal offence.

A French word, abeter—to bait or excite an animal.

For example, the manager of a jewelry store fails to turn on the store’s silent alarm on the night she knows her cousin plans to rob the store. Her conduct is that of abetting the robbery. If, however, she merely forgot to turn on the alarm, she would not have abetted the crime.

The word abet is most commonly used as part of the comprehensive phrase aid and abet.

Abet FAQ'S

In legal terms, to abet means to assist, encourage, or facilitate the commission of a crime by another person. It involves aiding or encouraging someone else to commit an unlawful act.

Aiding and abetting are often used interchangeably, but aiding generally refers to providing assistance or support to someone in committing a crime, while abetting encompasses a broader range of conduct, including encouragement or facilitation of the crime.

The elements typically include knowingly assisting or encouraging the commission of a crime by another person, with the intent to facilitate or promote the criminal activity.

Yes, individuals can be charged with abetting a crime even if they did not directly commit the offense themselves. As long as they knowingly assisted or encouraged the commission of the crime by another person, they may be held liable as accomplices.

The punishment for abetting a crime varies depending on the jurisdiction and the specific offense involved but can include fines, imprisonment, probation, or other penalties specified by law.

Mere presence at the scene of a crime is generally not sufficient to establish abetting liability. However, if the individual knowingly encouraged or facilitated the commission of the crime, their presence may contribute to abetting liability.

Abetting involves aiding or encouraging the commission of a specific crime, while conspiracy involves an agreement between two or more individuals to commit a crime, regardless of whether the crime is actually carried out.

In some jurisdictions, individuals can be charged with both abetting and committing the same crime if they actively participated in the criminal activity while also assisting or encouraging others to commit the offense.

Defences to abetting charges may include lack of knowledge or intent to aid the criminal activity, withdrawal from participation before the crime was committed, or coercion or duress.

Individuals accused of abetting a crime should seek legal advice from qualified criminal defence attorneys who can provide guidance, representation, and advocacy to protect their rights and interests throughout the legal process.


This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 29th March 2024.

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