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Attorney & Counselor at Law
Attorney & Counselor at Law, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 868
Experience:  Attorney & Counselor at Law with extensive criminal law experience
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Hello - this is complex - I do not expect anything more than

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Hello - this is complex - I do not expect anything more than a minimum answer. I have been given extremely LIMITED information about the following and will attempt to be as brief as possible: I live in New Mexico. My sister lives in my father's house in Colorado Springs (El Paso County). In July, 2008, my father DEMANDED that I come there in order to sign as co-executor of his will. I did so. All communication since has been done via email, but NONE of it pertained to THIS PARTICULAR issue until 5/31/2010. On June 16th, my sister indicated that: "Felony Larceny and Felony Fraud pending suits against you (you will be served within the next 3 weeks)". The action(s) of which I've apparently been accused supposedly occurred two years ago. Since then I have ALREADY made restitution of ALL of the items for which return was demanded at that time, even though IN 2008 I had UTTER AND TOTAL FAITH THAT I had been given explicit permission to take the items: my sister SUGGESTED that I do so. It appears to be recommended EVERYWHERE I look that I ought to obtain a criminal defense attorney as SOON as I possibly can: as of this moment (approximately 16 days since I was 'warned'), I have received no summons nor any OTHER info from the El Paso D.A.'s office. I called their "standard phone number" within the last two to four days, but no record of my name appeared. It is possible that I had contacted the incorrect department (although the one I contacted has the title "Felony Prosecution Unit".) If I use Google with the key "el paso county colorado criminal attorney help", it returns 29,300 "hits" which is of basically of no value in choosing any one firm. I know of no one in Colorado Springs who can make a recommendation. I can't say that looking at the "Cover Pages" found of the hits are necessarily of much help, although some seem to be as likely more likely than others. However, since Colorado doesn't have a certification board for criminal defense, it seems rather hit-or-miss. Nearly ALL of the firms advertise a "free initial consultation" which, of course, would have to be done by phone: what could I expect to obtain out of such a consultation? As it is, as time passes, "more and more objects appear to be missing at my father's house": things I haven't seen for AT LEAST 10..25 years but I'm being now being accused of stealing. However, at nearly the age of 86 he also recently 'lost' an "Agreement of Estate" (whatever that is) which was IN a briefcase UNDER his work-room desk that is worth an large amount of money: I had NEVER been given a copy of it, nor his will, nor ANY of the associated documents. Still, it has being demanded of me in increasingly angry tones. I truly believe that his accusations are being driven by my immediately elder sister's emotional instability (this is the one who lives in the house; and yes, I understand I am in no position to make such a judgment!!): for SOME reason she ALSO 'carbon-copied' me on a great amount of email sent to the other three sisters - one of which threatens to shoot them (or ANYONE she feared - how about a plain-clothes cop??) with a pistol that doesn't belong to her nor for which she holds a a permit with hollow-tipped bullets if they stepped on the property! For the first quarter of the year, she was unbelievably friendly to me (we hadn't been in contact for some time), and now for the second quarter she has become more and more vituperative: using foul language and generally harassing me any time she can. She supposedly works as house-keeper at my Dad's place and also his caretaker: he uses an oxygen concentrator (85% oxygen output, continuous) nearly all the time for chronic emphysema and has an enormous number of size "E" oxygen cylinders around the house. He is too stubborn or lazy or... whatever to actually remove his cannula to a safe place & puts it instead on his forehead when he decides to smoke cigarettes. Since he CANNOT get around and since his "caretaker" has made the threats like the one noted above, the rest of the family (and and a county health-inspector at one time) aren't allowed to go in the house... how does he CONTINUE to obtain cigarettes? I won't make the obvious conclusion but, he certainly is getting them from SOMEWHERE. An "accident" occurred last fall that left 1/2 of his face covered with 1st.. 2nd degree burns as well as his arms, his clothing caught on fire as well as the tips of the cannula. I believe she is somehow unstable and causing him to set up this situation (the property I've been accused of taking does NOT belong to her & thus she isn't the one who can EASILY make complaints). I'm at a total loss. I know I've already written far too much here and, in fact, only asked one question that has two potential answers: (1) Should I obtain a criminal defense lawyer as soon as I possibly can, preferably in the appropriate venue, and FAR more importantly, HOW CAN I CHOOSE ONE THAT IS ACTUALLY GOING TO HELP ME DEFEND MYSELF??? Thank you
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Attorney & Counselor at Law replied 4 years ago.
Hi

This sounds like a serious situation. However, my first recommendation to you is to relax. If you did not do anything illegal or criminal, then you need not unnessisarily fear any prosecution.

Just because your sister stated that you will face such legal suits, that does not mean that such suits will actually materialize.

Before any criminal action can be brought against you, a judge or prosecutor must have evidence that indicates probable cause that you committed a crime. It sounds like you are innocent, so the existence of such evidence is unlikely.

If you are indeed charged with a crime, you will have ample opportunity to secure your own defense attorney and present your defense to a jury of your peers. If a jury does not agree unanomiously that you are guilty, then you will be acquited of the crime, and will never have to worry about that charge again.

If you want to have an attorney on retainer in case of future need, you can contact the Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service
http://www.mlrsonline.org/lrs.html
or the El Paso County Bar Association:
http://www.elpasocountybar.org/lawyer_referral.cfm

Please ask the attorneys referred to explain their experience dealing with financial crimes and for testimonials from former clients.

I hope my answer helps with your understanding. Thank you for using Just Answer!
Attorney & Counselor at Law, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 868
Experience: Attorney & Counselor at Law with extensive criminal law experience
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