What Is an Example of a Crime of Omission?

Toshimasa Ishibashi/CC-BY 2.0

Child neglect, manslaughter by gross negligence and failure to disclose terrorist acts are all crimes of omission. Crimes of omission occur when an individual fails to do what is required by law and someone else is harmed as a result.

A person living in a home with a child is legally responsible for ensuring that the basic needs of that child are met either directly or through notification of authorities. Failure to act, even if the child is not biologically related, is a crime of omission. Likewise, any person who is aware of a dangerous situation, such as a house fire in progress or a terrorist plot, can face criminal charges for not notifying authorities.