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I am in need of possible criminal defense advice. A family…

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hello I am in need...
hello I am in need of possible criminal defense advice. A family member is being accused of touching or being inappropriate with 1 of his step children and they claim, after a forensic examination of the child in question that they believe that yes she was violated. He was asked to leave home and they have pretty much separated and damaged the family. He maintains his innocence and it is clearly very serious. Protective services have removed his 2 kids and his 3 step children from the mothers custody and he is in complete limbo. Apparently child services claim to have received a tip about this. They (child services) have questioned the children and mother and him to some extent and now detectives want to speak to him. He is terrified and so am I, that they want to pin this on him. We have very little to no resources. I have told him the best thing unfortunately in his interest is to say nothing without a lawyer. Today he told the detective on the phone (they wanted him to come in to be questioned) ... do I need a lawyer, I want a lawyer with me. That appeared to end it for today. He wants to help and be questioned but I warned him it should be on the advice of attorney or legal aid and likely only in their presence. He don't know what to do but this is a terrible thing that they are claiming and it looks like they are trying to blame him.Today they forced the transfer custody of all 5 children to the grandmother and said their will be a family court hearing tomorrow at 1pm.... he is at the moment no longer with the mother and I see no benefit of him appearing... I think they just want to interrogate him if given the opportunity. It seems they are on a hunt to pin it on someone and he too wants them to get to any truth in these accusations, but I warned him that it is not a good idea to be questioned alone even though he wants to comply and get to the bottom of it. All we know is that they claim to have a tip. Todays detective call did not say there was a warrant or mandatory reason to come in and talk to them. I feel he needs legal help and would also love any referrals for very affordable or free legal assistance on this matter. I am writing from Broward County Florida.
Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 2 hours by:
12/15/2017
Criminal Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,611
Experience: Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. Any attorney worth their salt would tell you the same thing. In no way should this friend of your make any statements at all to investigators. None, period, with first speaking to a local criminal defense attorney about the facts of the case. Even then, most defense attorneys will tell him not to make any statements. You are right that the investigators don't have interests in mind but are, instead, trying to gather evidence. Maybe against him. No reason for him to assist them. It is their job to find the evidence.

The law is that they can keep calling him until he tells them that he is represented by an attorney and to call his attorney. Once he gives them the information about his attorney, they are supposed to stop contacting him.

They don't have to read him his rights to remain silent unless and until they arrest him.

He is not entitled, nor will he find, free criminal defense advice or representation unless he is formally charged and the court decides that he is indigent and cannot afford his own attorney. Until then, he will have to pay for an attorney's representation. He can contact the Florida Bar Assosiation's Lawyer Referral Service to find a list of local criminal defense attorneys taking cases.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to reply to this answer and let me know that I covered your question, then the Site will give me credit for assisting you today. Thank you

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Hello Marsha and thanks so much for your legal assistance. I would like some clarity about if investigators call him.... apparently he told me a detective did call him to come in for questioning and he said he had or was in process of getting a lawyer... from what I gather he did not promise a call back from the lawyer or to call the detective back. If that is the case, being resources are poor/very low... should he just wait to see if they call him again? should he spend money immediately on a lawyer and have that lawyer call them? He is responsive to the communication so far as far as taking and returning their calls. I am thinking he should sit tight and see if they call again. Over a few months or with payment plan he can eventually get paid legal council and I suppose free legal council (if they do arrest him) will just delay court dates to buy time to find resources to cover paid representation. Thank you
Criminal Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

You're welcome. I can't really give any specific advice for this specific case since I am not his attorney and we cannot form an attorney-client relationship. That would violate both the TOS of this Site and by Bar ethics rules. However, as mentioned, he doesn't have to talk to them, but knowing what I do about law enforcement, they will likely just keep pursuing him, by phone or in person, until he either hires an attorney and tells them he has one and provides the information to them, or he gives a statement. As also mentioned, giving any kind of statement is not a good idea unless and until his attorney says he should, which is not likely to happen in most cases.

He doesn't have to respond or take their calls and probably shouldn't since he may be saying something to them that helps with their investigation whether he knows it or not. But again, he can wait if he wants until, if it occurs, he is arrested, to hire an attorney. A criminal defense attorney doesn't get paid by the hour, they charge a flat fee for a particular charge, so whether now or later, the money amount won't make any difference. My opinion is that it is always better to get the attorney involved before charges are filed or an arrest occurs since sometimes that might result in no charges being filed at all, depending on the evidence, or, at the very least the attorney being ready to go on day one of the charges. Up to him though.

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Criminal Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any further follow up questions for me from the answers I provided to you on the 16th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not received your rating.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

Thank you.

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