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Legal-Guru , Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1366
Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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Someone was recently arrested and charged with a FEDERAL crime.

Customer Question

Someone was recently arrested and charged with a FEDERAL crime. The charge is that he violated federal laws by attempting to influence a public official’s duty. The defendant (who is currently arrested) violated the law in a matter that involved me, but I had no idea whatsoever that he committed such a crime. I hired him as a professional and he violated his professional ethics without my knowledge. I only found out that he broke the law from reading the papers. Can he attempt to implicate me in the crime if he felt that it will help in getting a lighter sentence? Meaning, can he turn around and claim I was aware of his actions?

Again, I was not aware whatsoever of his crime. If I had known, I would have reported him. When I asked him how he resolved the matter via email, he responded and said that he simply did his job (lawfully). At the time, I was out of the country and haven’t seen him since. I am getting all sorts of theories of what may and may not happen from family and friends. I am personally not worried because I know I had nothing to do with it, but people seems to get in my head these days.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer.

To answer your question, yes, he could lie and try to implicate you. I would expect that officers/agents will want to interview you if that happens. In fact, I would expect them to interview you even if he did not implicate you. If that happens, I would suggest that you retain a local attorney to advise you whether you should agree to be interviewed, and if so, be present with you during the interview.

Also, make sure you save all communications between you and this person to help demonstrate that you did not ask him to or know that he was doing anything improper. I would print out emails, download screen shots of text messages, etc to protect against losing them because of some technical failure.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Wow..... I can't believe I can become implicated although I was NOT involved and had no idea whatsoever what the guy was doing. Initially, I had no worried at all because I knew I was not involved. But to learn I can become implicated so easily is worrisome.


Can I be indicted simply because the defendant mentions my name? Doesn't his testimony need to be corroborated? I have no reason to believe he will bring me up because I was not involved, but many are saying I should expect anything from him because he wants to save himself.


Do the emails and texts help me?


Does the fact that I was away help me?



Should I really be worried? How worried?


Sorry for all the questions, I will provide a tip.


Thank you

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
Sorry for the delay ... I will be back with you momentarily.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm still waiting. Thanks.

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
I apologize for the delay. Wasn't around a computer last night.

(1) I did not mean to alarm with my previous answer. You asked if it was possible, and yes, it is possible. However, that does not mean it is easy to be charged or convicted.

(2) You would not be indicted simply because he mentions your name. The government would look for additional evidence tying you to the crime.

(3) Yes, accomplice testimony needs to be corroborated although not everything he might testify to needs to be corroborated.

(4) Having not seen the emails and texts I cannot say whether they help or hurt you, but assuming do not suggest doing anything criminal they should help you.

(5) On that type of crime not being present is not that determinative. You can direct someone's activity from anywhere in the world.

(6) It is very easy for me to say don't worry. I realize it is more difficult in your shoes. I believe it is very rare for people to get charged with crimes they did not commit. If this person implicates you, I would expect the authorities to investigate you, but given that you were not involved they should not find anything that backs up his story and the available evidence should corroborate your version of events. Assuming that is the case the chances of you being indicted are very slim.
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1366
Experience: Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
Legal-Guru and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for replying. I guess listening to people who watch too much TV tends to get you worked-up. I am confident the only thing I'm guilty of was trusting someone to do his job and putting my faith in him. I was not involved, nor was I aware of his intentions AT ALL. I am just shocked at the revelations. And more shocked that I was stupid enough to think he was an actual professional.


Once again, thanks for the answer.

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome. Best of luck to you and try not to worry too much or listen to too many amateur lawyers. :)

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