General Question

ragingloli's avatar

If, for example, you see someone drowning, and you decide not to help the person, because you want the person to drown, can you be charged with a crime?

Asked by ragingloli (43952points) August 17th, 2018

Inspired by the song “Cops underwater”.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

longgone's avatar

In Germany, absolutely (ยง323c StGB).

ragingloli's avatar

I was not asking about Germany.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Might be called criminal indifference.

flo's avatar

You can be charged for leaving the scene of the crime. Does that mean yes or no to your answer? I’m not sure.

kritiper's avatar

So, you’re going to admit that you wanted this person to drown? Can you prove it?

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Generally, in the common law, Americans have no duty to assist absent a special relationship such as husband/wife, parent/child, etc. Criminal law is different in the states and some have enacted statutes that are not in keeping with the common law. I have not worked in a state where the common law has been written out of the state’s code.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

The only time I have heard the term criminal indifference is here where people are talking about a TV show. You can’t learn the law by watching TV.


@kritiper She said nothing about announcing that wish.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here’s a clip about the Good Samaritan Law from Seinfeld.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@LuckyGuy Good Samaritan Laws are to protect those who DO assist those in need. They aren’t to force people to be good Samaritans.

kritiper's avatar

@MollyMcGuire Exactly my point.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@MollyMcGuire @kritiper I am aware of that. I worked for a volunteer ambulance service for many years and we were (supposedly) covered by those laws. .
By way of humor I was giving the OP the possible name of such a law as a starting point for searching.

kritiper's avatar

Of course, it depends on if the means to save the person in question is/are handy/available to save this person’s life. If this were the case, I would have no choice, legally I think, but to save him/her, and I would do so.
If this person was 50 feet offshore and I can’t swim, well, shit the bed. Tough luck, buddy! I doubt I could be charged with any crime.

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