Hand of One is Hand of All Theory Law and Legal Definition

“Hand of one is hand of all” is a theory, whereby all those who participate in a crime become guilty as the actual wrong doer. In other words act of one is considered act of all. This is a accomplice liability theory.

"One who joins with another to accomplish an illegal purpose is liable criminally for everything done by his confederate incidental to the execution of the common design and purpose."[State v. Curry, 370 S.C. 674, 684 (S.C. Ct. App. 2006)].

This was further expanded by the Supreme Court of South Carolina in State v. Kelsey, 331 S.C. 50, 76-77, 502 S.E.2d 63, 76 (1998),where it was held that “if a crime is committed by two or more persons who are acting together in the commission of a crime, then the act of one is the act of both."

Supreme Court approved the following charge for accomplice liability in State v. Cannon, 49 S.C. 550, 27 S.E. 526: "The common purpose may not have been to kill and murder, but if it was unlawful, as, for instance, to break in and steal, and in the execution of this common purpose a homicide is committed by one, as a probable or natural consequence of the acts done in pursuance of the common design, then all present participating in the unlawful common design are as guilty as the slayer."