Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Ohio

Can you be charged with a lesser crime as a victim?

So, while this probably sounds

incredibly stupid, bear with me. I

was trying to buy beer at a gas

station, as I am underage. Went up

to a guy to ask him for beer, he said

okay, took my money and started to

go to buy beer. Then he turned

around pulled out a gun stuck it to

my head and the girl's head that i

was with. He robbed us and stole

everything. He let us go, and we

called the cops. He was arrested,

and they found some of my stuff but

not all of it, i don't know if they

found the gun or not. I told the

cops in my statement i was just

buying cigarettes or gas or

something and the dude came up

and robbed me.

So the question is, can i get

charged with anything for trying to

buy beer, or lying in a police

statement, or can he get off

because i did something illegal? This

may be a stupid question but I

really don't know much about the


Asked on 6/30/09, 2:57 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: Can you be charged with a lesser crime as a victim?

The state can charge you with a crime for trying to buy the beer, but it probably won't. If it routinely charged people in situations like yours, it would encourage others to commit serious crimes against those who commit minor ones. After all, people who expect not to be reported to the police are more likely to commit a crime.

The government is less likely to look the other way when someone makes a false police report, but it doesn't seem that yours was false in any material way. You may not have given a full picture of what you are doing, but you didn't make any false accusations against your attacker. My sense is that this won't matter much to the police or the prosecutor. If the case goes to trial, though, you should expect to be cross-examined about it.

Of course, I can't guarantee how the police or prosecutors will act in this situation.

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Answered on 6/30/09, 4:13 pm

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