A worried father called me one day to say he’d just received a call from a police detective, who informed him that his son needed to go to the precinct. He asked the police if he needed a lawyer, but they told him it “was unnecessary” and “would just confuse things.” When he asked why they wanted to speak to his son, the response was even vaguer: “Just come to the precinct and we’ll discuss it then.”
Fearful of walking into a situation he wouldn’t understand, he called and hired me to represent his son. I was able to quickly have a conversation with the arresting detective, who explained that my client was being accused of stealing three computers from his school.
The detective and I agreed that I could take my client to the police station the following day, which meant I had some time to prepare my client and his father by explaining the procedure and likely outcomes. By hiring me early, they could feel confident that they weren’t making any legal missteps that would cost them later. (For example, I made sure he didn’t give a statement to the police before I surrendered him.)
He was initially charged with grand larceny – a felony that’s usually punishable by imprisonment. Yet we managed to get the charge reduced to disorderly conduct (a non-criminal offense) after presenting him in the best possible light and agreeing to pay back the cost of the laptops.