Are You Required By Law To React?? - Page 2

Are You Required By Law To React??

This is a discussion on Are You Required By Law To React?? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here is a rundown on "Duty To Rescue" statutes. I have no personal knowledge of its accuracy. In nearly all cases, notifying of LE satisfys ...

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Thread: Are You Required By Law To React??

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Here is a rundown on "Duty To Rescue" statutes. I have no personal knowledge of its accuracy. In nearly all cases, notifying of LE satisfys the requirements.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  2. #17
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    I have help carry permits in 3 different states (Oklahoma, Virginia and Pennsylvania). I've seen nothing in any of the 3 states laws that require you to come to someones aid. Even if the law exists, it would be almost impossible to enforce.
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  3. #18
    Member Array n3ss's Avatar
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    How can you react if you don't know all the circumstances of the situation? Just because something looks like an innocent person being put in danger, doesn't mean it is.

    I say be a good witness. Even if such law exists, i'd rather pay a fine or a short jail stay than potentially commit murder for no reason.

  4. #19
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    That's an interesting question. Many states have laws "Duty to rescue" laws (CA, FL, MA, HI, MN, OH, RI, VT, WA), but that doesn't mean you have to risk your life. I doubt it's so much about what you do, but more about what you do NOT do. If you walk by someone who are obviously injured, even if you were not obligated by law, we all have a moral obligation to help. That doesn't mean you should risk your life, or someone else's life, but it could be as simple as calling 911. Don't just walk away like you didn't see it.
    I am glad you asked, and the RI answer to your question is YES according to RIFL 11-56-1

    § 11-56-1 Duty to assist. – Any person at the scene of an emergency who knows that another person is exposed to, or has suffered, grave physical harm shall, to the extent that he or she can do so without danger or peril to himself or herself or to others, give reasonable assistance to the exposed person. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months, or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.
    I doubt anyone has been convicted of violating the statute though...

  5. #20
    Member Array Jet Doc's Avatar
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    I have not read anything that REQUIRES Georgians to react, and I live here. Would be curious to know if there is such a statute.
    Better to have and to hold, than to leave in the nightstand.....

  6. #21
    Member Array StcLurker's Avatar
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    Isn't there also something about that if you do help, you have to continue to help until someone more qualified/appropriate gets there. or is that just for EMT's?

    I saw a terrorist getting beat up the other day, I alerted the police but nobody showed up......I'm starting to think I wasted a stamp
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by varob View Post
    I know of no laws in Virginia that says you must act, and if you help someone in something like a vehicle accident and inadvertently do harm to the person you're helping, you're covered under the Good Samaritan Act.
    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post
    There are no laws in Utah requiring you to be a "good Samaritan", however, the use of force laws make it legal to do so if one chooses.


    Essentially very similar to what we have in Mi.
    Last edited by oneshot; February 2nd, 2011 at 07:24 PM.
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  8. #23
    Distinguished Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    There is also a federal statute, 18 USC section 4, called Misprision of Felony.

    • Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both

    But is also basically a reporting statute.


    Another interesting federal statute is 28 USC 566 (c):

    • Except as otherwise provided by law or Rule of Procedure, the United States Marshals Service shall execute all lawful writs, process, and orders issued under the authority of the United States, and shall command all necessary assistance to execute its duties

  9. #24
    Member Array chiefs-special-guy's Avatar
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    there is no duty under common law to assist another person. that is my understanding. this is not true under many civil law systems such as in Germany- there you have an obligation to render assistance if you can do so without risk. but people are very rarely prosecuted for obvious reasons.
    on the other hand, I think God expects you to try to help your neighbor. I will go further- He expects us to take serious risks if necessary, especially to protect the weak or vulnerable.
    I also suspect most folks on this board share these views. "No greater love..."
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  10. #25
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    "and shall command all necessary assistance to execute its duties"

    This is pretty much common to LE agencies.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  11. #26
    Array gatopardo's Avatar
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    In Oklahoma at least, if I intervene on behalf of a third party I am taking over that persons rights and acquiring her/his obligations, in other words if that person is on the wrong side of the law I would be responsible for the same crime. So Unless I know what I'm doing I'll stay on the sideline.

    Someone told me a story about a lady who trying to prevent a crime at a gas station, confronted a group of shady looking individuals who at the time were in the process of assaulting a group of nicely dressed gentlemen, who went inside the Seven eleven to purchase drinks.

    In the end, the shady looking guys happened to be the FBI and the guys in suits were drug dealers, so the lady was charged with obstruction of justice. My lawyer told me the story, so I cannot testify to its accuracy, but it gets my point across.

    Months after he told me the story, it happened to me, as I witnessed from my second floor back window how a couple of shady guys were stalking someone outside a rehab home, guns drawn and everything, I called 911 and reported the incident, I was with the 911 operator for at least half an hour, describing the comings and goings of this individuals and describing the situation and how one of the guys would put his pistol in his pocket, and go inside, he then would come out again [he'd]pull his pistol and stalk, they didn't have badges or such visible. The police showed up about an hour after this guys were gone.

    They were bad guys after all, so it happened that they came on the wrong day, it was an inside job and they where waiting for the manager as he would cash everyone's check to pay them every two weeks. The stunt didn't work as they were intimidated by the Loony population inside which was not impressed with their guns so they decided to take off in their vehicle, which they crashed while they were being chased by the rehab's manager and his gardener.
    The runaway vehicle belonged to a used car lot in which one of the promising felons worked at. So, his boss made him go back to the place of the accident and call the police to make a report for insurance purposes, and that is how they were caught ion the end.

    In fact, the attending officer to the unsuccessful robbery got the call to attend to that report and that is how they got made.

    Life is stranger than fiction I say, so be aware.
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  12. #27
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefs-special-guy View Post
    there is no duty under common law to assist another person. that is my understanding.
    I am not sure how can you say there is no duty under common law to assist another person when there have been several posts quoting both federal and state law saying the opposite...

  13. #28
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    In Texas the only duty you have is to report the crime if it is a felony. There is no duty to help the person, although the law certainly gives one the opportunity to come to the assistance of a person whom is having a crime committed against them.

    Like others have said, there probably aren't any laws on other state books that require intervention of the person, but allow for intervention in some states.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  14. #29
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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  15. #30
    Distinguished Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    I haven't found any "REQUIREMENT" to intervene.
    If you do so legally, you are immune from criminal/civil penalties.


    Deadly Force

    There are 3 code sections that govern when lethal or deadly force may lawfully be used.

    Defense from a forcible felony; A person is justified in using threats or force to the degree they reasonably believe it is necessary to stop another person's imminent use of unlawful force. A person is justified in using deadly force which may harm or kill only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony (unless it is regarding defense of habitation, which has it's own requirements below). You are not justified if you were the aggressor or you are/were/on-the-way-to committing a felony. (The state has pre-empted local cities and counties from further restricting this defense.)(16-3-21)

    Defense of habitation; (here habitation means dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business) A person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:

    1. A person is breaking\has broken into your home in a violent and tumultuous manner, and you think that the intruder is going to assault you or someone else living there.
    2. A person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters the residence and you know it is an unlawful entry.
    3. The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.


    Defense of property other than habitation; Lethal force cannot be used to protect real property unless the person using such force reasonably believes that it is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.(16-3-24)

    (Stand Your Ground/Shoot First/License To Murder - went into effect July 1st, 2006) If you have determined you need to use lethal force (as stated in one of the underlined "Defense" sections immediately above) you do not have to try to retreat before using that force. If your defense is valid, you are immune from criminal prosecution (unless it is illegal to carry that weapon where you used it) and civil liability actions.(16-3-23.1, 16-3-24.2, 51-11-9)

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