Can my son be held liable for something that his friend’s did without is knowing?

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Can my son be held liable for something that his friend’s did without is knowing?

My son was with the wrong crowd one night and they went to a vacant trailer. While my son and a friend was in the trailer another friend set it fire. They all took off running. My son did not know he was going to do this, and did not help him in anyway, but he did not tell until the cops interrogated him. neighbor had seen them at the scene. Can he be found guilty of arson just because he did not tell?

Asked on June 13, 2012 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, your son could very well be found guilty of arson based upon the facts that you have written about. The reason is that your son by entering the trailer was trespassing and could very well be deemed a burglar by the mere entry of the vacant trailer when he was in the presence of his companions.

The setting of the fire by another one of his companions could be deemed an act in furtherance of a joint venture to commit a crime. I suggest that you and your son consult with a criminal defense attorney about the situation he is in as soon as possible.


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