Defendants have blamed many arrests on being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact, there are a number of circumstances that can result in a perfectly innocent person getting charged for a crime.
In this scenario, you may face charges of aiding and abetting another criminal act, or you might face charges for the crime itself.
Bearing witness to a crime
Sometimes police officers mistakenly arrest individuals who witnessed a crime, along with the rightful suspects. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding, but it is a potential outcome if you were in the wrong place and simply happened to see a crime take place. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution will need further evidence than your mere presence.
Associating with wrong people
It is often said that you are the company you keep. Unfortunately, this might be true in the eyes of the law when you are in the company of criminals. If you have friends or family who are involved in illegal activities, associating with them may cause you to come under suspicion for such activities too. It is important to limit your dealings with people you suspect may commit crimes -- and report it if you know that they have committed crimes.
Failing to report a crime
Failure to report a crime may not seem like a serious offense or even an offense at all. How do you know for sure that a crime took place if you didn't see it? And if you did see it, reporting it may lead to your own arrest, too. This is a difficult situation, but it is ultimately necessary to report any suspected crime to law enforcement lest law enforcement charge you with a crime, too.
If you have been arrested for any reason, get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney.