The Answer Isn’t As Easy As One Might Think
Video Transcribed: Hello, my name is Jason Lile; I am a Tulsa Criminal defense attorney. I wanted to answer a question I get a lot in my practice: “Do I have to report a crime if I know that one’s been committed, or do I suspect that one’s been committed.” The answer isn’t simple, which is why I’m doing this video.
If you know or strongly suspect a crime has been committed against a minor child, yes, you do. You must go to the authorities and report it. It is a misconception that there are only mandatory reporters in Oklahoma, such as schools, churches, teachers, or counselors. This isn’t true. You must report a crime against a minor child in Oklahoma, and so you must do that.
However, barring that, you do not have to. There are many considerations about whether you want to get involved enough to report a crime. Because if you are reporting a crime, there’s a good chance that you are a witness to it. It could get you involved as a witness. There is potential danger that goes along with that.
One good practice is to consult a lawyer. Pay a lawyer for an hour of their time, one that’s typically an experienced criminal defense attorney or has experience with criminal matters. Ask them, “Do I need to report this? What are the ramifications if I do?”
The other thing you want to be careful of is that you don’t want to falsely report a crime. One way in which a good lawyer can advise you is to say, “How certain are you of this? How do you know it? Where did you find it? Do you know it directly?” And if you don’t, sometimes it’s better not to report it because you don’t want to risk making a knowingly false report.
So if you find yourself in the position where you’re wondering if you should report a crime or you have any questions about criminal matters, my name is attorney Jason Lile. I am a criminal attorney in Tulsa, and I would love to consult with you about it.