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Criminal Responsibility For Conduct of Another

The Court of Criminal Appeals in a 1986 case determined that the evidence is sufficient to support a conviction under the law of parties where the actor is physically present at the commission of the offense and encourages the commission of the offense either by words or other agreement.

This allegation could be made in a number of different situations, including but not limited to, burglary or other theft cases.

Mere presence of the defendant at the scene is not enough, but it is a circumstance that, combined with other facts, may show that the defendant was a participant.  The evidence has to show that at the time of the offense, the parties were acting together, each contributing to the common purpose.

In determining whether a defendant participated in an offense as a party, the court may examine the events before, during, and after commission of the offense and may rely on any actions by the defendant that show an understanding and common design to commit the offense.

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