Attorney Dekalb County, GA
There are just some things that are expected of you as a member of society. Laws vary from state to state as it pertains to reporting crimes; it is not also required or illegal to not report a crime. This charge, however, can range from minor to major. Depending on the extremity of the crime committed, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony for not reporting it. Murder is one criminal offense that law enforcement would expect to be reported to them. In the event that it is not reported, a prosecutor can and may attempt to charge you with Failure to Report.
This is not to be confused with helping to conceal a crime this is an entirely different criminal act and will be prosecuted accordingly. If you aide someone in covering up a crime, you will be charged with far more than “failure to report”, you are then open to the possibility of being charged with aiding and abetting, or an accessory after the fact.
You do not want to participate in any parts of the crime, assisting in hiding someone law enforcement is searching for, hiding evidence, or even assisting in a cover up story (better known as an alibi), is beyond failure to report. There is a fine line between aiding and abetting and failure to report, and your involvement in these criminal acts, although you “technically” did not commit the crime, can get you into a load of legal trouble.
While each state is different, if a child is involved, many states required and expect an individual to report the crime that physically, mentally, or even emotionally affected the child. If there is any feeling that child abuse is occurring, it must be reported. While this is not as extreme as failing to report a murder, charges can still be sought after, but only on a misdemeanor level of punishing.
If you or someone you know has knowledge of a criminal activity that took place, and has not reported it to the appropriate authorities, it could be possible the police are already aware of your participation or lack thereof. The truth is, when you are not honest, you will almost have no way of knowing your name came up, or maybe even your face was shown on video footage obtained and it is clear that you were aware and chose to not report. While it is best to simply report crimes you are aware of, if you do not, speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney Dekalb County, GA offers in the event that you are charged with Failure to Report.
ContactAndrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and hit and run cases.