But as an attorney, you have a knowledge base about legal procedures, rights of accused, etc., that non-lawyers do not, which you would certainly draw upon when being questioned by LE. Would you advise the rest of us, who do not have that skill set, to refrain from utilizing counsel?
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I cannot, under state bar ethical rules, give any of you any advice. I can only tell you what I would advise a hypothetical client. I would never advise anyone who may be guilty of a crime to avoid hiring an attorney. But if the goal is finding a missing a child, and I was clear that there is no way the client is involved, my advice to my hypothetical client would be to do whatever it damn takes to assist LE in finding the child.
You see, the attorney is really good for one thing at the outset of such cases - protecting the rights of a possible defendant. The attorney's advice to anyone categorized as a POI would be do not make a statement and do not take a polygraph.
Such advice could prove catastrophic to any parent whose child is missing.
However, some parents have hired attorneys later on when they've felt LE is not doing its job and to help them navigate the system, access info and put the pressure on.
But listen, I am a family law attorney and only do minor criminal law appearances. Let me ask my law partner what he would say (he does criminal law).
Regardless, the rights of the accused are to remain silent, have an attorney present, not consent to a search, etc. I would NEVER assert any of those rights myself if my child was missing...unless I was guilty of harming my child. Being in jail or arrested would be the very last of my concerns. Desperately finding my baby would be only thought. As it should be.
There is a reason Polly Klaas' dad and Adam Walsh's dad repeatedly stress the importance of complying with LE and the significance when parents lawyer up.