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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27100
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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my brother in costa rica contacted the state attorney general

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my brother in costa rica contacted the state attorney general in tennessee saying i tried to extort money from him. all i told him was that if he paid me what he owed me i wouldn't contact his customers and reveal the fraud he has commited against them. i found out it has been turned over to an investigator today. i know he called my brother in costa rica and my brother seems to have recorded phone call between us and sent him some emails that we exchanged. can he file a criminal complaint from anther country without showing up in Tennessee?
Hello Jacustomer,

A criminal defendant has the right to confront the witnesses against him. In order to go forward with this case, the prosecutor will need your brother to come in, swear out a statement, testify before a grand jury and return for hearings and trial. He cannot get this case prosecuted from abroad.

If the police contact you about anything with regard to this, you should not cooperate. If you are the suspect of a potential crime you have no duty to assist in your own arrest and conviction. To the contrary, you have a Constitutional right to remain silent and to refrain from self-incrimination. That right can never be used against you. Simply tell the police that until you talk to a lawyer you have nothing to say to them.

Then go find yourself one, just in case.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

from what i was told he contacted the state attorney general and sent copies of emails and recorded phone calls (i didn't know i was being recorded) to him. the AG sent them to a local investigator in my area and from what i know he has called my brother and told him to be sure to log day and time of any future recorded phone calls. is this legal to record phone calls without telling me? also what trouble can the investigator get into for telling him how to do it?

Hello Jacustomer,

Tennessee is a one party consent state. Your brother need not get your permission to record you. If it's a concern of yours, you should not be talking to your brother. Clearly he is trying to prosecute you and to put yourself in a situation where what you say can be used against you is unwise.

The police are immune from prosecution or suit if acting within the scope of their employment. There is nothing wrong with their suggesting to your brother how to get further evidence of criminal activity.

But no matter what the police are telling your brother they will still not prosecute this without him. The recordings would not be admissible against you without your brother in court to testify as to how he obtained them and as to their legitimacy.
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