Criminal Law

Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Criminal Law

My sister in law is part of a domestic abuse case. She might

Customer Question
My sister in law is...
My sister in law is part of a domestic abuse case. She might be called as a witness in the case against her husband. Her husbands family wants us to have her in our home so that she will not attend the trial. We are worried that we will be held liable for hiding a witness. Is this possible ? How much of a legal risk are we in to allow our sister in law to stay with us ?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Criminal Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Answered in 15 minutes by:
1/1/2010
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 8 years ago
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,730
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Verified
Customer

Your instincts are correct. This would be a criminal offense. Broadly speaking, it would be obstruction of justice. Looking over the Masschusetts Statutes you could be charged with Disruption of Court Proceedings which is a misdemeanor carrying a penalty of a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year of jail.

If your sister in law wants to risk a charge of contempt of court by ignoring a subpoena and doesn't want to stay in her house, tell her to get a hotel room and stay out of this.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,730
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Verified
Zoey_ JD and 87 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank you FranL. Appreciate your quick reply. We have one doubt: the trail hasnt started and the subopoena have not been issued yet. Since the tail has not started, is it riskly to allow her to stay in our home. Please note that my Sister in law lives in Wakusha county in WI and we live in MA.
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 8 years ago
It's certainly not risky to have your sister-in-law visit. The problem would only be, as you see from the statute, if you actively participate in disrupting court proceedings. As long as you don't know about any subpoena, assuming you could be charged with this offense (I hadn't realized you were out of state) you couldn't be convicted of it.

She, on the other hand, can be arrested for criminal contempt as well as disrupting court proceedings. I don't know that this will happen to her, of course. Some complainants who change their minds and stop cooperating with the state get by with it, and the case just gets dismissed if the prosecutor can't make out the case without her. But the more serious the charges are, the more likely the state will try to find her and haul her into court to testify at trial, particularly if the case is on the verge of trial, and she's been cooperating with the state until now. If that turns into a warrant for her arrest once they can't find her, then if you're hiding her from the authorities, you are harboring a fugitive.
_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,730
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Verified
Zoey_ JD and 87 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,730
28,730 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.

Zoey_ JD is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends.

NormaPensacola, FL

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

3,194 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

2,063 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

1,862 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Lawyer

1,815 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience

Nate

Nate

Lawyer

1,736 satisfied customers

Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

1,631 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law

AttorneyTom

AttorneyTom

Lawyer

1,242 satisfied customers

Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Criminal Law Questions
My girlfriend was charged with a criminal offense and is
My girlfriend was charged with a criminal offense and is using the local version of the "Public Defender" as her attorney. This particular case is a misdemeanor, but it relates to a felony conviction … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,693 satisfied customers
Is corruption of a minor a misdemeanor or a felony?
Is corruption of a minor a misdemeanor or a felony? … read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,730 satisfied customers
Sure - my bf lost his criminal trial on Wed and was
Sure - my bf lost his criminal trial on Wed and was convicted of two felony charges. At the end, the judge remanded him to custody for knowing/willful violation of his probation terms (for a civil dvr… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,157 satisfied customers
In criminal court, I understand that when an accused has
In criminal court, I understand that when an accused has Clemency from the State Board of X that it can not be held against the accused.So what about in civil court?… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,877 satisfied customers
I have a question about procedure in criminal court in
I have a question about procedure in criminal court in Texas; specifically if there is any way to request a pretrial hearing prior to indicment of a felony … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,877 satisfied customers
How is it that the justice system can ignore the truth and
How is it that the justice system can ignore the truth and rely upon a third person's story to victimize a family?There is no crime, yet the city attorney is pushing for a false charge and the judge i… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
Is it not uncommon for criminal court judges or their
Is it not uncommon for criminal court judges or their court's administration (e.g. bailiffs) to manipulate the only clock on the wall in the courtroom (e.g. set it purposely ahead of or behind the act… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I had a criminal court hearing and was sentenced, but was
I had a criminal court hearing and was sentenced, but was never sworn in can this be thrown out… read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,810 satisfied customers
I have a court da on October 30 for a misdemeanor without a
I have a court da on October 30 for a misdemeanor without a bail and they didn't took my passport, can I leave the country? … read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,810 satisfied customers
I was wondering if someone with a obstruction of justice
I was wondering if someone with a obstruction of justice charge in illinois get it expunged. they drunkenly lied and said they were driving … read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,193 satisfied customers
Just wanted to know if using my name in a justice court
Just wanted to know if using my Nick name in a justice court would make a difference I been going by my nickname k name my entire life I won the civil suit in court but then she tries to tell the judg… read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,730 satisfied customers
My son has to appear in court on a misdemeanor. doesn't have
hi, my son has to appear in court on a misdemeanor. doesn't have any record and I guess did not move when the police asked him to. we bailed him and he has to appear in court 9/26. Should he have a la… read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,730 satisfied customers
During my Bench Trial in Federal Court on a misdemeanor
During my Bench Trial in Federal Court on a misdemeanor charge of Simple Assault, I testified in my own defense. I would have made a more aggressive defense, but I thought certain points were best lef… read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,730 satisfied customers
I need a criminal justice lawyer knowledgeable on advocacy
I need a criminal justice lawyer knowledgeable on advocacy for substance abuse crimes … read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,730 satisfied customers
In Texas, in a Class Misdemeanor criminal case where the
In Texas , in a Class B Misdemeanor criminal case where the defendant is representing themselves.Is it correct that the defendant can request from the DA any offense reports, any designated documents,… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
In the criminal justice arena there are different sentencing
In the criminal justice arena there are different sentencing schemes. They are determinant, indeterminate, and mixed sentencing (a combination of the first two). I'd like to know which states use whic… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,385 satisfied customers
During trial and post trial, court will document the
During trial and post trial, court will document the profession, current employer, family details etc. Do you think current employer will come to know about court proceedings, if they not conducting c… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,157 satisfied customers
Is collusion illegal criminal offense that the justice
Is collusion illegal criminal offense that the justice system would prosecute … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,717 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x