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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1628
Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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Customer Question

My daughter forged a mortgage document to get her payment back up to date. She holds the deed to the house, however her ex-husband holds the mortgage. He went to the police and she is frantic. She is financially stapped-working full time and taking care of their 2 children. She needs a lawyer but can't afford it and neither can I. Please advise.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you! If you find my response helpful, please rate it positively so that I can receive credit for my work.

Q) She needs a lawyer but can't afford it and neither can I. Please advise.

Fraud or forgery is a felony in most states, including Michigan. A felony is a crime that carries a maximum potential punishment of more than one year in jail. Whenever a person is charged with a crime that involves possible jail time and cannot afford an attorney of her own, the court is required to appoint a qualified attorney to represent her.

If your daughter is formally charged, she will eventually be taken before a magistrate or judge who will arraign her, i.e. inform her of the charge or charges against her. That person will also inquire about an attorney. Your daughter needs to tell the magistrate or judge that she wants the court to consider appointing an attorney.

Second, tell your daughter to SAY NOTHING TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY TO THE POLICE OR ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSON, ABOUT THIS CHARGE. No matter what the police say, i.e., "We already know everything, you might as well confess and it'll be easier on you down the road..." or "If you just tell us the truth we can probably get this whole mess straightened out...", tell your daughter to keep her mouth shut and demand an attorney.

If she has already spoken to the police, tell her to stop talking and say no more until she has consulted an attorney. Obviously, we cannot back in time and change what's already been said, but in my many years of criminal practice, I can't think of a single time when I had a client who talked to the police and it helped them. Silence is golden, in this situation.

Good luck to you and your daughter!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm waiting to hear from my daughter so I can tell her what you said and she if she has any further questions.

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Sure thing. Just let me know if you have additional questions or concerns.

Take care,
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hello again. When we last left off, you told me you would get back to me after speaking to your daughter. I was then notified you rated my answer as "poor service" and I am writing to inquire why.

Your question was, "She needs a lawyer but can't afford it and neither can I. Please advise." I answered your question accurately AND provided important additional guidance for your daughter. I'm sorry for the situation she is in, but I cannot control how the law impacts your or your daughter's personal situation. If you perceive that my answer was "bad news" or not something you wanted to hear, that is NOT a valid reason for a poor rating.

If I misinterpreted your question, or if you have some other question you wanted to ask but didn't state clearly, I'd be happy to help you. Otherwise, please change your rating to a positive one or click "accept" on the answer I provided so that I can receive credit for my work when I completely, thoroughly, and accurately answered your question.

Thank you and I wish you and your daughter the very best with her court case.