Is It Illegal to Not Report a Crime?

May 9, 2014

A large number of crimes are brought to the attention of law enforcement when they are reported by members of the public. The police can’t be everywhere at all times. They often rely on reports from individuals who witnessed crimes or discovered crimes after the fact.

In some states, failing to report certain crimes is actually a criminal offense. For example, it is against the law in Texas to fail to report a felony crime. This means that if a person witnesses a felony in progress and decides not to notify the police, that person may be subject to prosecution.