You don’t have to directly commit a white collar crime to get charged with criminal activity. Helping with the crime in any way, intentionally, can bring on charges for aiding and abetting.

You do not even have to be there when the crime happens to face these types of charges, so having an alibi is not as beneficial.

For instance, perhaps one of your co-workers wants to transfer money out of a company bank account and into a personal bank account. They just need the passwords to the system, which they don’t have. Since you do, they ask you for the passwords.

You want nothing to do with the transfer, but you give them your notebook, where you’ve written down every password that the company uses for all sorts of various logins. Then you go home for the weekend and try not to think about it.

While you’re at home, your co-worker breaches the account by using the right password, transfers the money out and promptly gets caught. They then tell the authorities that you gave them the password, and you get arrested, even though you weren’t anywhere near the building or a company computer when the crime happened.

One huge factor to consider in this example is intent. If your co-worker did not tell you anything about the crime and asked for the notebook for an unrelated reason, you may be able to argue that you unintentionally helped them commit the crime. You had no idea it was going to happen or what was planned. It is crucial to understand all of your legal defense options at a time like this.