Under federal law, being present at the scene of a crime does not necessarily make an individual guilty. In order to be convicted of a crime, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual committed or assisted in the crime. Simply being present at the scene of a crime does not demonstrate that the individual had the intent to commit the crime or was otherwise involved.
The prosecution must prove that the individual actually committed or assisted in the criminal act. For example, to be convicted of a drug offense, the prosecution must prove that the individual knowingly possessed, manufactured, or distributed the controlled substance. Simply being present at a location where drugs are present is not sufficient to establish guilt.
That being said, there are certain circumstances where an individual’s presence at the scene of a crime may give rise to suspicion or make them a person of interest in an investigation. For example, if an individual is present at the scene of a crime and provides false or misleading information to law enforcement, this may lead to further investigation and potentially charges for obstruction of justice.