Under what circumstances would you drop a dime on a relative for committing a crime?

Suggested by this thread.

I’d like to restrict this poll to what you’d do about close relatives: spouse, parent, stepparent, sibling, stepsibling, child, or stepchid. How bad a crime would the person have to commit before you’d decide that societal responsibility trumped family loyalty?

For me, it partly depends on the relationship and partly on the crime. If it were my parent, wife or child, I’d only turn them in if by doing so I could prevent serious physical harm to another. If my wife, child, or youngest sister confessed to me that they had already committed almost any crime, and there seemed to be no chance they’d do it again, I’d almost certainly keep my mouth shut; I couldn’t bear to turn them in. My youngest sister is also in this category, but because of my specific relationship with her rather than the kinship itself.

For other relatives, I’d drop a dime if they committed any variety of sexual assault, whether it were ongoing or not. I might or might not for physical assault or murder, depending on circumstances. Financial crimes or voter fraud? Not likely.

But that’s just me. Anyone? Bueller?

If I could prevent other people from being hurt then I would turn him/her in, but I would have to know for a fact that they committed the crime.
I think it would be limited to crimes that involve intentionally hurting or killing people: rape, molestation, repeated abuse, murder (excluding self-defense). Family or not, I couldn’t live with knowing that I could prevent other people from being hurt.
Theft, financial crimes, drugs - I probably wouldn’t turn them in.

The point at which I turn them in would be the point at which they drag me into it - including but not limited to the point at which they tell me all the details to my face.

This is partly because I’m not a criminal but also because I’ve read a lot of Agatha Cristie and I don’t want to be the Person Who Knows Too Much (ie Victim Next.)

I’d do it if I benefited financially. :smiley:

I called the cops on my stepson numerous times while he was living at home and bringing drugs in the house.

Would depend a lot on the circumstances. Sexual crimes or violence would be pretty much a given that I’d call immediately. With the caveat that I’m not calling over a single slap or something like that, although I personally would make a big deal about it in regards to our continuing relationship.

I didn’t, and still haven’t, turned in my ex-wife for possible Social Security Fraud. She’s on SSDI for Mental Illness, but some of the specifics reek. The reason I haven’t said anything post-divorce is that I think they’d have a hard time actually proving the fraud. (Basically, they’re saying that she cannot work in public, but she likes to hang out at the largest mall around and works at the Ren Fest every fall. If she “can’t work in public”, then how can she work at one of the largest public events of the year and hang out at the largest public mall?)

It’s very hard for me to imagine any of my close relatives or friends committing a crime more serious than a traffic violation.

If it had already happened, and there was no violence or theft, I would probably talk myself into letting it go for the sake of peace in the family. If it involved violence or theft, I would report them, and I’d expect the rest of the family to back me up.

If it was something that hadn’t happened yet, I’d do my best to talk them out of it. Failing that, I’d try to remove their opportunity to commit the crime. Failing that, I’d report them.

Ish. What a nightmare. I’m so glad my family is law abiding.

If they had committed a serious crime like murder or rape.

If they were committed major crimes on an ongoing basis and I felt it was the only to stop them.

If they were making me an accessory.

I wouldn’t rat out a person, family or not, for a victimless crime like using drugs or hiring a prostitute; for for minor traffic violations.

Actually, I’m failing two imagine a circumstance when I would turn in a stranger but not a family member. If it’s a serious enough crime, I report it. Otherwise, not.

If it was post-crime and I didn’t think that they would commit another one, it would be really hard for me to turn in any child of mine, my husband, or my brothers. However, it might be different for sexual assault. Depends on the circumstances for other crimes. I could imagine not turning them in for a self-defense killing – who knows if the criminal justice system would find it self-defense or not…

PS I never knew what “drop a dime on someone” was until now. I’m 35. I knew that song that says “She dropped a dime on me,” but I never knew thought about it or what it meant.

Petty stuff, no. Violence, yes, If I ever saw my Dad hit my Mom, cops in a second, my old man taught me that much. Any form of sexual abuse toward any minor, no need to make phone call, they would already be dead.

Quick story, a few years ago my landlords son(13 yrs old), and a foster kid they were watching for the afternoon, broke into my house, tossed some stuff around, stole a computer game, deck of cards, some Sharpies, a porno mag, pocket knife, and a pile of quarters. I didn’t call the cops, the kids mother(landlords wife) did. She was PISSED. The officers held that kid in cuffs with the foster kid in the back of a cruiser for 3 hours.

The kid got 1 year probation and 200 hours community service, counseling, the whole nine, he was also grounded for 2 years, very seriously grounded. It cost my landlord a chunk of money between the court fees, probation fees and the counseling.

I’m still living there over 4 years later. I have a lot of respect for that kids folks (my landlords). I’d do the same thing if it was my kid. He’s turned out OK, we(me and the kid) talked about it a few times afterwards. Thats got to be tough, dialing 911 on your own kid.