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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer
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My son broke into a business and now the sheriff wants him

Customer Question

My son broke into a business and now the sheriff wants him to come to the sheriff office so they can get a statement should we get a lawyer to go with him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
First, you should know that your son does not have to go to the sheriff's office at all. He has an absolute right to remain silent. Second, you should know that, if he chooses to go, because you are not a lawyer, you will not be allowed to go into the room with him. That's important, because it could affect his decision about whether to hire a lawyer (and if he's a minor, it means that it's an even better idea to hire someone).
The sheriff's job is to get a confession from your son so he can charge him with a crime. He's allowed to twist your son's words to get it (and they're trained to do this). He's allowed to lie - claim there's an eyewitness even if there wasn't. He's allowed to pretend to be his friend, sympathize, say he'll talk to the DA about lesser charges, but that's not true. The DA decides what to charge, and the police don't really have much say in it. Every word the sheriff says to your son is aimed at getting him to confess to burglary so he can charge him with a crime. They can talk about you - how hard it must be on you as a parent to see your son there, and how much easier it'll be on you if he confesses.
And that's why, if he chooses to go, it is a very good idea to have a lawyer go with him. Lawyers are familiar with these tactics and can help your son avoid saying anything he shouldn't.
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