Abet Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Abet, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Abet?

v. to encourage or set another on to commit a crime. This word is always taken in a bad sense. To abet another to commit a murder, is to command, procure, or counsel him to commit it.

History and Meaning of Abet

The term abet comes from the French word "abetir" meaning "to bait" or "to encourage". In English law, abetment was originally defined as "counsel given with criminal intent", but later expanded to include acts that assisted or encouraged the commission of a crime.

Abetment is a criminal offense and can be charged as an accomplice to the actual criminal act. The accused must have had knowledge of the criminal intent and must have intentionally supported or encouraged the perpetrator.

Examples of Abet

  1. Tom was charged with abetting his friend in the theft of a car.
  2. Sarah was found guilty of abetting her husband in committing tax fraud.
  3. The company was accused of abetting environmental pollution through illegal waste dumping.
  4. The witness was charged with abetting perjury for encouraging someone to give false testimony in a trial.
  5. The coach was suspected of abetting the use of banned substances by his athletes.

Legal Terms Similar to Abet

  • Accomplice - a person who helps in the commission of a crime but is not the main actor.
  • Conspiracy - an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime.
  • Aiding and abetting - can be used interchangeably with abetment and refers to purposely helping or encouraging someone to commit a crime.
  • Procurement - the act of getting someone to commit a crime through persuasion, coercion or other means.
  • Incitement - actively urging or encouraging another person to commit an offense.