I would like to know if one is obligated to hand oneself in to authorities if one committed a crime/sin and nobody caught them?

I would like to make this as general a question as the rules of the site allow. Let me know if it should be split into separate questions.

  • Would this only apply to sins and bet din, or does it extend to handing oneself into the government visávis local law (halacha shel medina), or other authority such as the owner of a contract/terms and conditions one signed?
  • Would this only apply to certain level of crime/sin? If someone broke a rule in a fine print of a terms and conditions and should ideally pay a hefty fine, or have been speeding and should get points on their license, or have broken a term on their insurance and should be disqualified, but nobody is aware, do they hand themselves in?
  • Is there a "statute of limitations" on this? Would one have to go back and try to work out how many times they broke the speed limit so they can get the requisite number of fines and points?
  • Does it make a difference if the breach was a complete mistake (ones), a negligent mistake (shogeg) or on purpose (mezid) etc.?

Thank you.

  • 1
    Assuming that everyone must obey the laws of the countries where they are located and this is a Jewish commandment, most countries, if not all, in their constitutions defend the idea that no one is obliged to produce evidence against himself.
    – Thales
    Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 23:56
  • That's an outstanding point @Thales thank you
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 0:37
  • 1
    Relevant: הסנהדרין--אין ממיתין ולא מלקין, המודה בעבירה, שמא נטרפה דעתו בדבר זה, שמא מן העמלין מרי נפש המחכים למוות: שהן תמיד תוקעין החרבות בבטנם, ומשליכין עצמן מעל הגגות; כך זה יבוא ויאמר דבר שלא עשה, כדי שייהרג. וכללו של דבר, גזירת מלך היא Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 5:16
  • @Deuteronomy wow! Yes
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 14:49


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