If you were involved with a group of people and a crime was committed by one of them, the police may try to charge you with that crime through the doctrine of Joint Enterprise. Just being present at the scene of the crime or being a member of a group when an individual or multiple people break the law is not sufficient to be convicted through Joint Enterprise. To be found guilty you must have encouraged the behaviour or assisted the offence in some way.
For example, if a group of people chased down and assaulted a victim and then one of the group stole the wallet of the victim, the question of whether the entire group is guilty of joint enterprise in theft is to be decided by the court.
Young people have been affected by this law because of the prevalence of youth gangs and the susceptibility to peer pressure, especially in lower income areas. The youth courts take this into consideration when passing sentence. For more information, visit (Youth Court link to be added).
If you or somebody you know is accused of Joint Enterprise then it is imperative that you hire an expert lawyer. The individual nature of each Joint Enterprise case requires that our lawyers work closely with you, and we will always work hard to achieve that standard both in and outside of the courtroom.