Natchez, MS asked in Criminal Law and Environmental for Mississippi

Q: Can you be a victim and a suspect in the same case

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1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Environmental Law Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: Yes, this can happen in a countless number of settings. Since your question is in the Environmental category, here is an illustration of how the scenario you describe might materialize. A crew member of the deck department of a ship is on navigational watch as the ship transits a channel. He strikes a submerged wreck that causes a discharge of oil from one of the ship's cargo tanks. He is criminally prosecuted under federal oil pollution laws. The wreck was improperly marked on the chart he was using and he claims he had no reason to believe the wreck was where it actually was. He brings a third-party action against the entity that prepared the navigational chart. He is a defendant in the matter, but he claims to be a victim, as phrased in your question, due to the chart error that was not in his control.

Tim Akpinar

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