A Criminal Defense Attorney | Lawyer’s view on Investigations of Abuse against Vulnerable Adults.
As advances in medicine and care allow people to live longer, the issues of caring for vulnerable adults has become more complicated with little room for error. Family members, mandatory reporting and even permissive reporting requirements can lead to investigations, no matter how minor, for fear of exposure to criminal charges or lawsuits. Whether these investigations are fair or whether they are run like a witch-hunt depends on the nature and impartiality of the individuals conducting it and the quality of your criminal defense lawyer | attorney. Do not get caught unaware. Casey Kasem’s public case is a classic example.
Investigations involving Vulnerable Adult
When a police officer is investigated, the first thing they do is hire counsel. When a lawyer | attorney is being investigated, the first thing they do is hire counsel. When a business is being investigated, the first thing they do is hire counsel. Why? Because they are smart. They know that hiring effective counsel to manage an investigation and exercise independent judgment on liability is necessary to protect their rights and interests. Good defense counsel prevents witch-hunts, manages liability and knows how to manage your case, publicly and privately. Good defense lawyers will also have their clients contact an independent, unbiased expert to help with their defense and show the investigators that there is another side to the story. Many times, independent research and experts have led to dropped charges or acquittals. The criminal defense lawyers | attorneys in our office have helped hundreds of clients manage a wide variety of criminal and civil investigations and do not give blanket answers. Our team takes the time to speak with you, do our own investigation and give highly calculated, personalized advice. For example, we have and do occasionally recommend that our clients speak with the investigators: but only after thoroughly vetting them. We also have recommended that our clients not speak with investigators; it all depends on the facts and implications of doing so. Whether you are a business or individual, the minute you are notified that you may be subject to an investigation or will be charged, it becomes imperative you hire effective counsel to protect your rights and interests.
So What are the Police and Public Agencies Looking for?
All cases start with a tip: whether it is a family member or professional who has reported, something triggers an investigation. The most common areas of neglect, negligence or intentional abuse of vulnerable adults are financial, physical or sexual.
The investigation can be conducted by a variety of agencies depending on the scope of the investigation, the age and physical state of the alleged victim and the seriousness of the accusations. Obviously, a sheriff or police officer can investigate a crime, but often a social worker from Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) division of Residential Care Services, or other state agency will start the investigation, which may later turns into a crime. To what degree you participate in this investigation should be a decision made with the assistance of knowledgeable and experienced counsel.
In our role of defense lawyers | attorneys, we see agencies looking for facts to support a finding of civil negligence or neglect, but also see them hone in on criminal activity such as criminal mistreatment, assault, abandonment of a dependent person, assault, sexual assault and indecent liberties. Most of these crimes are serious felonies and it is essential that you contact counsel immediately upon being put on notice that you or your business may be being investigated for one of them. DO NOT try to talk your way out of one of these situations. You are not trained or skilled in this arena and the people who are asking the questions are. They are not there to say hello and leave. They are there to gather information to justify the potential filing of criminal charges or civil action.
If you think you may be under investigation or are under investigation, call to set up an appointment. Our firm has a distinct combination of courtroom skills, expertise and temperament. Our criminal defense lawyers | attorneys work as a team and are highly experienced in dealing with agencies and complex fact specific arguments. Our lawyers know that criminal cases are rarely as simple as police reports and our clients retain us early on in the process to make sure their rights are protected. Consultations are free but a poor choice in counsel is not. The first step in evaluating counsel is an appointment. Call 206-708-7852 to set up an appointment today.