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ADillon, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  20 years of experience in general law practice.
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I live in New Jersey and my wifes ex-husband filed a ...

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I live in New Jersey and my wife''s ex-husband filed a false accussation of child abuse against me ( step father) the Detective was told by the 11 year old son who was with his mother at the station that I did not touch him, ever hit him nor was he afraid of me. DYFS (Div. of Youth and Family Services) concluded and closed their case stating that there was no abuse at our home and the children are still with us. However this Detective keeps harassing us My Wife and me) and now claims that the 11 year olds father recorded his son saying that his son had a knife which is lie. He wanted to speak to me however when I went to the station he stated before speaking to me he had to read me my MIRANDA rights...I refuse and left stating to him that I would need to contact an attorney and did not wish to waive my rights to legal representation. This detective continues to call my wife with outlandish allegations by the non-custody father (who inccidentlty gets off his Mental Medications). Help
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ADillon replied 8 years ago.

I assume that you are referring to a police detective (and not a private detective). I would simply suggest that you and your wife ask him to not call you further. If he has credible evidence of a crime, then he must of course investigate that. (In addition he may have a duty to notify DYFS. If he has not so notified them, then that may suggest that he does not find these statements credible.) Even if your son had a knife, that does not seem highly relevant. You could ask to listen to the tape recording, but it is not clear what that would resolve in any event.

If the detective continues to harass you, then there are administrative procedures you can use to report him to his supervisors. The issue will then be whether he is legitimately investigating a crime. At some point, without any new substantial evidence, the detective should either commence a formal legal proceeding, or back off. You may also theoretically have claims against the boy's father (e.g. defamation, abuse of process), but it may not be worth pursuing those.

Also, your decision to not speak to the detective may be a good one. Many times a person makes a statement which seems innocent, but which the police can later use against the person.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to ADillon's Post: DFYS was notified and they interviewed both my step sons, my wife and me and they determined that there was no abuse no substantiation of the father's claim...they also walkthrough our home and further determined and concluded that that charges were false, thus closing the case on their part.

When I went to speak to the detective he informed me that I was not being charge with anything and was free to leave at any time...which I did when he informed me that he would have to read me my MIranda right if interviewed.

I am afraid because I have an old conviction in 1977 when I was 18 (am 49 now) of murder 2nd degree which involved a knife...which I served my time and finish all my parole due to positive re-entry into society. I have not had any problems with the law since 1977 over 32 years. I am afraid that this questioning of my 11 year old step-son stating to him if "he" had a knife is to try and scare him to say that I had a knife...what do you think?
Expert:  ADillon replied 8 years ago.

I would hope that the police would not be focused on such an old criminal offense (30 years ago). But you make a good observation about the reference to the knife; it is conceivable that they are thinking about this. But if your record has been clean for 30 years, and there is no real evidence of neglect or abuse (as determined by DFYS), then they should just leave you alone. Regarding the Miranda issue, perhaps the detective was just being very cautious. (I am not even sure that you were in "custody," such that he might not have been required to "Mirandize" you anyway.) I would suggest that you play it by ear at this point. Hopefully too they may realize that the father is unstable, especially if he is not taking his psychiatric medications. It is always difficult to prove your innocence in this sort of situation; i.e. proving a negagive; but you also of course want to keep thinking of anything that would exculpate you if they were to come back with some charges.

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