Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Lawyer Discusses Failure to Report Under Mississippi Criminal Law

Any criminal lawyer in Mississippi will tell you that Mississippi law generally does not require citizens to report crimes or even emergencies to the appropriate authorities.  However, a very narrow exception to this rule exists when it comes to a person who accidentally starts a fire at a church or state-supported school.  Pursuant to Mississippi Code Section 97-17-3(2), any person who accidentally starts a fire at a church or school is required to alert appropriate authorities, such as the fire department, to report the fire.

Failure to report a fire under these circumstances is a felony, and has a potential sentence of two (2) years to ten (10) years in prison, and restitution for any property damage as a result of the fire.

This statute does not make it a crime to accidentally start a fire (to qualify as arson in Mississippi the fire must be intentionally set).  This law makes it a crime to fail to report a fire that the person accidentally started.  And again, this law applies only where the building that caught fire was a state-supported school or church.

If you have been charged with a crime relating to arson in Mississippi, please contact Mississippi criminal lawyer Curt Crowley at 601.944.1984.  There is no charge for an initial consultation.


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