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SQUEEKY2's avatar

If a crime happened, that you knew about but did nothing because it furthered your position, job, or wealth situation, are you not guilty of something?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (15538points) July 21st, 2018

Even though you did not do the crime, or had any part in it, you simply knew about it and did nothing, are you not guilty of something?

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13 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Nobody likes a snitch.

stanleybmanly's avatar

probably, depending on the crime. Let’s say the boss fires his secretary, and I’m promoted to the job. At the close of the workday I leave the office and bump into the secretary who tells me the boss fired her for not sleeping with him. What should I do?

elbanditoroso's avatar

Legally or morally?

I doubt I would be legally guilty, but I could be morally at fault, possibly. Details matter.

LadyMarissa's avatar

In the US there is a law where you can be charged as an accessory before/after the fact. It used to be used a lot but it appears it is now used on selected people. It was mostly used for the more serious crimes like IF you were the driver of a getaway car during a bank robbery & one of the robbers shot & killed a teller…as the driver you were charged with being a accessory & could face the same charges of murder just as if you had pulled the trigger yourself.

We had a local woman whose son had robbed a bank with NO shots fired. While on the run, he came back home & she hid him from the cops. Back in the good old days that was a mother’s job to try & keep her son safe. In this case, she was charged with aiding & abetting a criminal. She was sentenced to more time in jail than he was & HE was the one that robbed the bank.

@stanleybmanly In your case, I’d keep the number to HR in my speed dial just in case. The truth is that you don’t know for sure that your boss actually did fire her for not sleeping with him…only that’s what she told you. IF it was a fact, I’d hope that she’d contact HR to try & get her job back or at least get him fired!!!

ScienceChick's avatar

@stanleybmanly I don’t know if that is a criminal offence. If he molested her and you were witness, then that’s a crime, but, like was mentioned by so many in another post, in the US, folks can just be fired. She’d never be able to prove that she was fired for not giving him a sexual favour. He said, she said situation and you’d be third party hearsay.

But if you know someone is embezzling money and you don’t tell, you are an accessory. Any sort of theft. Any sort of threats of blackmail, kidnapping, violence. Especially if you are some how benefiting by not saying anything and they can prove that you knew about it… like if a mate stole the test answers and shared them with you, or beat up and scared off someone you wanted gone that you would benefit from, like create a vacancy in an apartment building you wanted or such like. It is a crime. I’ve known of a woman who was caught embezzling money from her employer and she had bragged about it in correspondence on her work computer to her family members…. for a very long time. Her mother and brother found themselves in court as well.

kritiper's avatar

Aiding and abetting. You are an accomplice.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I just remembered that back in the 70’s when I was living in Virginia, a couple of guys went into a local motel & robbed the clerk on duty. She was an elderly woman & they scared her so bad that she had a heart attack & died. The young men were charged with manslaughter & went to jail for almost as much time as if they had shot her & been charged with murder.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

No. Knowing is NOT aiding and abetting and is not the definition of accomplice.

@ScienceChick

There is incorrect information in your post. Incorrect legal information may be harmful so best to be quiet when you don’t know.

Perhaps you are not in the USA.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Criminal indifference. What the Seinfeld group was charged with in the last episode.

ScienceChick's avatar

I didn’t know this question was for only US lawyers. Perhaps the OP should have written that. I’m sure everyone is guilty of something. The OP doesn’t even mention whether it’s a criminal, prosecutor offence. They just wrote, ‘guilty of something.’ I thought it was pretty obvious I am neither in the US or a lawyer.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Under federal law there is what is called Misprision of a Felony. If you know of a felony UNDER FEDERAL law that actually occurred you are legally bound to report it.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@LadyMarissa That is the Felony Murder Rule which states ”“A death that occurs during the commission or attempted commission of any felony constitutes murder.” In your case they reduced it from First Degree to Manslaughter which is surprising for a Southern state.

ScienceChick's avatar

Aren’t there different things someone can be charged with, like obstruction of justice, when they know things or assist someone they know is under investigation and won’t cooperate with law enforcement? I saw an interview with a guy who just made a movie and he was talking about being on parole in the US state of California. That system sounds totally fucked up. Parole rules change from county to county, so suddenly his friend couldn’t walk his dog, or he’d be put in jail. Very strange stuff. It reminds me of a psychology study about how excessive rule making and enforcing actually discourages people to learn good judgement.

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