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Legal-Kal
Legal-Kal, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 555
Experience:  Attorney at Law Offices of Khaled Issa
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I let my fiance take my car to work one evening due to very

Customer Question

I let my fiance take my car to work one evening due to very bad weather and i did not want to take my 3,2 and 3 week baby out in a blizzard... he does not have his license due to not being able to pay the fine after a drunk driving charge, on his way home he put the car in a snow bank got a ride home and asked me to call a tow truck, a few minutes later a sheriff called and asked me what was happening with the van.. i told him it was being towed in about a 1/2 hour he asked me if i was driving i said yes, due to being scared of him not having license... he came to the house... my ffiance went straigh to bath when got home and when offficer arrived i said i was driving to get formula ( which my fiance picked up after work) and he asked me if there was a man in the car i said no... he asked to speak to my fiance, he came out of bathroom and officer asked him if he had been drinking he said YES, i was shocked and upset it looked like i was covering up for him, he is in jail, after 23 month of sobriety he lied to me about going to work, and was apparently out drinking, none of which i knew about. Now they are trying to plead with him to not press charges against me if he pleads guilty to all charges. How do i not make him take it to protect me when i did not think i was lying about a drunk driving... i have never in my life done anything illegal, i am scared please help me with some advice. thank you
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Good evening:

My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to provide general information regarding your question. First, I am sorry to hear of the situation you are currently in.

Just to clarify, do you know the exact charges that may be filed against you if your fiancee does not accept the offer proposed to him?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No, for what he told me they said they would not bring charges and prosecute me if he pleads guilty.
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Ok, thank you for that information. Please allow me a few minutes to discuss thoroughly the issue as it relates to your example.

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Most likely, if lying to police or obstructing an investigation, the offense charged would a variation of making a false statement to law enforcement under 750.749c. This law states:

Sec. 479c.

(1) Except as provided in this section, a person who is informed by a peace officer that he or she is conducting a criminal investigation shall not do any of the following:

(a) By any trick, scheme, or device, knowingly and willfully conceal from the peace officer any material fact relating to the criminal investigation.

(b) Knowingly and willfully make any statement to the peace officer that the person knows is false or misleading regarding a material fact in that criminal investigation.

(c) Knowingly and willfully issue or otherwise provide any writing or document to the peace officer that the person knows is false or misleading regarding a material fact in that criminal investigation.

As you can see, I have underlined the portion that would most likely be applicable to you. Simply making a statement that turns out to be false is NOT a crime. The statement must knowingly and willfully be false. That means the person who gave information to police must know that the statement is a lie. If the person did not know the statement was a lie, they cannot be convicted of the crime. The state must show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the statement was made knowing it was a lie. Without any direct evidence of that, it would be hard for them to sustain a charge against you at trial.

So, while there is nothing you can do to "force" someone to accept a plea agreement, if you were charged with providing a false statement to law enforcement, the state would have to show that you knew it was a lie. Without proof that you knew it was a lie, it would be difficult for them to convict you.

Any questions based on what I have provided thus far?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
since i did not know he was under the influence, I would not be making a false statement about the criminal charge, and i can prove that. Could they charge me with anything else and also if he does not take the plea how long do they have to charge me with something... they have never said anything to me about the case?
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

The offense is a misdemeanor, therefore charges can be filed anytime within 6 years from when the alleged incident occurred.

It seems as if law enforcement or the prosecutors are trying to pressure him to take the deal by threatening filing charges against you. Again, because the state would have to bear the burden of proof in showing that you knowingly and willfully made a false statement, it would be hard for them to win. But, by threatening you, they will try to get your fiancee to plead guilty.

Now, things may change if you have given other statements to police where you acknowledge the falsehood of the answers you provided (i.e., that you admitted to police that you lied). If that is the case, that later admission can be used as evidence against you to prove that you did know the initial statement you made to police was a lie.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
i never admitted to lying, but the officer asked my fiancee why there was two different stories he said she was trying to protect me since i was driving without a license. i never said a word after that, he took him outside to perform all of the tests. but it is all written down in police report which i have not seen, so i am not sure what he stated.
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

The statements your fiancee made does provide circumstantial evidence against you in a criminal proceeding. However, it is your state of mind that matters more (i.e., that you knew you were lying, not that your fiancee said you were lying).

The prosecutors could, if they want, force him to testify about the statements he made to police regarding the two different stories. So, while it is evidence against you, it is not the strongest evidence against you. Essentially, his testimony would mean that he thought you were lying. However, the state must prove that you knew you were lying.

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Just a reminder, if you have no follow up questions. Please remember to click ACCEPT and RATE my assistance if I have sufficiently assisted you as that is the only way I can be credited for helping. Your cooperation in this regard would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Please remember to click ACCEPT if I have sufficiently assisted you. Thank you.

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Good evening:

It has been a few days. If you have no other questions, please remember to click ACCEPT as the experts can be credited for taking the time to assist an individual. Thank you.

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 10 months ago.

Please remember to click ACCEPT if you have no other questions. Your cooperation in this regard would be greatly appreciated.