Aiding and Abetting Intent Requirement

In People v. Mendoza (1998) 18 Cal. 4th 1114 77 Cal. Rptr. 2d 428, 959 P.2d 735, the Supreme Court concluded that "the intent requirement for aiding and abetting liability is a 'required specific intent' for which evidence of voluntary intoxication is admissible under section 22." (Id. at p. 1131.) In reaching that conclusion, the Supreme Court observed: " 'Specific and general intent have been notoriously difficult terms to define and apply . . . .''When the definition of a crime consists of only the description of a particular act, without reference to intent to do a further act or achieve a future consequence, we ask whether the defendant intended to do the proscribed act. This intention is deemed to be a general criminal intent. When the definition refers to defendant's intent to do some further act or achieve some additional consequence, the crime is deemed to be one of specific intent.' " (Id. at p. 1127, citing People v. Hood (1969) 1 Cal. 3d 444 82 Cal. Rptr. 618, 462 P.2d 370.) Hence, the Supreme Court reasoned: "The intent requirement for an aider and abettor fits within the Hood definition of specific intent. to be culpable, an aider and abettor must intend not only the act of encouraging and facilitating but also the additional criminal act the perpetrator commits. . . . Aiding and abetting liability attaches only with the intent that the direct perpetrator commit a further, criminal, act in order to achieve the future consequence of that act." (People v. Mendoza, supra, at p. 1129, italics in original.) In that vein, the Supreme Court also noted: "Unlike the act of the direct perpetrator, the act of the aider and abettor is not inherently criminal. Indeed, the aider and abettor's act may be, and often is, innocuous when divorced from the culpable mental state." (Ibid.)