This article is to meant to distinguish the differences between these crimes under Mississippi law.

Accessory Before the Fact

  • aiding, abetting or assisting a Defendant to commit a crime
  • Defendant must actually commit or complete the necessary elements of the crime
  • must be evidence that the Defendant has procured, counseled or commanded the “accessory” to commit the felony but that the accessory was not actually present when the felony was committed (Wilson v. State Miss. 1991)
  • must prove beyond a reasonable doubt

Accessory After the Fact

  • aiding, assisting, concealing, helping, receiving AFTER the crime has already committed by another codefendant,
  • knowing that the codefendant has committed the crime
  • the intent is to enable or help the codefendant escape or avoid arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment
  • must prove beyond a reasonable doubt


  • Defendant unlawfully designed, endeavors, intended, planned to commit a crime by some action toward completely the crime
  • Defendant did not actually complete the crime or was prevented from completing the crime
  • must prove beyond a reasonable doubt


  • It takes at least 2 people, 2 codefendants to be guilty of conspiracy
  • This charge is meant to punish the specific act of 2 defendants working together to commit a crime
  • There must be an intent to commit a crime, must be intent to work together to commit that crime
  • must prove beyond a reasonable doubt

Aiding and Abetting

  • when one person directs or tells another person to commit a crime and that person commits the crime directed
  • crime committed through the direction of another person as his or her agent, or by acting in concert with, or under the direction of, another person or persons in a joint effort or enterprise (Milano v. State, Miss 2001, citing 5th Circuit language)
  • must deliberately associate himself in some way with the crime and participate in the crime with the intent to bring about the crime
  • being present and knowing that a crime is being committed is not enough to be found guilty of this charge, not a mere spectator
  • must prove that Defendant actively and voluntarily participated in the crime
  • must prove that Defendant intended to violate the law by directing the crime committed
  • must prove that another Defendant committed each and every element of the crime charged
  • must prove beyond a reasonable doubt