Is it against the law not to help someone in danger?

I'm just curious here.

lets say someone's life is in danger and someone just stands there and didn't do anything to help while that persons die.

is this a crime in the U.S?
Answer:   No, generally speaking, it's not a crime and it's not a tort. There is no duty to rescue. Not even if you are a police officer on duty. If you CHOOSE to rescue someone, however, that triggers a duty of reasonable care for purposes of civil liability -- again, generally.

Recently, some municipalities have begun to enact "good Samaritan" ordinancies, which impose small fines for not taking certain steps to help a person in danger (e.g. calling 911, etc.). Also, some states have enacted legislation which subjects emergency rescue personnel to civil liability for injuries only in the cases of gross negligence, not ordinary negligence.

Still, those are corollaries. Bottom line is, if you walk by a lake where someone is drowning, it's not a crime to do nothing.

EDIT: "Recently in CA a family sued 37 witnesses for $350,000 and won for not helping out their son while he was kidnapped (info detailed in the movie "alpha dog")" -- Movies are notoriously bad sources of legal knowledge, even those which claim to be "based on a true story". Could you please provide a reference to the actual case?
It could be. You are required by law to at least attempt to contact the police if you see something illegal going on, or something that could be potentially harmful to another person.
If you know who did the crime and do not report it, then it is against the law but it is not against the law to do nothing you can watch the whole crime play out and then as long as you were not promoting the crime all you have to do according to the law is report it of course it does raise some questions about you as a person if you don't help when someone is in in danger.
I don't think so, unless they contributed somehow to the dangerous situation.

If a driver accidently hits someone, they are required to stop and render assistance, but a bystander is not compelled to do anything.
It is not against the law not to help someone in danger, but it is morally outrageous. It is a sin. Always help anybody in need no matter who he is. God always rewards the good doers.
Your example is too ambiguous. If someone is being attacked you can be prosecuted for not contacting the authorities but you do not have to endanger youself to assist. If someone is standing under a scaffold that is about to collapse and you don't warn him, it is not necessarily a crime although you really have to suck as a human being to do something like that.

While it might not be illegal (according to Redisca's post) you could be sued by the victim or the victim's family. Recently in CA a family sued 37 witnesses for $350,000 and won for not helping out their son while he was kidnapped (info detailed in the movie "alpha dog")

Of course if you assist in any way, and it's possible depending on the crime that not doing anything could be considered "assisting" you could be tried for accessory to murder (if it's a homicide).

On a personal level, while it might not be in your best interest to help at that specific time, it's a moral obligation to at least report the crime, don't you think?
maybe it's not a crime at all but it has socialization, the deviance(or the wrong act done by a person that is against the rule of what is written or recorded), has two kinds of sanctions,.first is the punishment that abides by the law.If you did a deviant act, you will be punished according to what you have done and the rightful judgement of what will be done to you that is written in the formal law. The second one is not a direct punishment because you are not being tortured or physically injured, but the way the society will treat you, is different when you are considered a criminal. This sanction is given only to those who did not commit a grievious sin but only like the one you have mentioned. You will be humiliated, rejected, or uncared for.
In the UK, there is a legal saying: ommission is not commission. There is no positive obligation on you to help anyone, young or old. However, there is a social contract that we all enter into: if you don't help others, do not expect anyone to help you.

The Answers post by the user, for information only, FreeLawAnswer does not guarantee the right.
Answer question:

More Questions and Answers: