Rule No. 1: There is nothing you can say to these people to make them go away.
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Nothing an accused or alleged victim can say or do will convince the “protectors” (Child Protective Services, child advocacy prosecutor, child advocacy center caseworker, family advocacy prosecutor, family advocacy center caseworker, police detective, or victim’s advocate) that the abuse did not occur. Nothing!
Rule No. 2: The case will not be dismissed until the government finds a dismissal is in their best interests, not the best interests of the family.
The effects on an individual family mean nothing to these people. The family is a mere meal ticket, another in a long line of families the system will victimize and probably destroy. Informing the protectors that the family is fine, has made up, is working out their problems, and does not need prosecution will fall on deaf ears. The system does not care. The protectors need bodies to meet necessary quotas to continue receiving grant money and expand.
It is only when the protectors recognize they will lose the case, possibly in an embarrassing fashion, that a dismissal will be considered. The state must be motivated through its own fear of losing face with a jury before it will consider the needs of the family.
Rule No. 3: Talking to the “protectors” without an attorney present is the single worst thing a wrongfully accused person can do.
In most cases an experienced attorney will not allow you to talk to the “protectors” (Child Protective Services, child advocacy prosecutor, child advocacy center caseworker, family advocacy prosecutor, family advocacy center caseworker, investigator, police detective, or victim’s advocate) or give a statement. The attorney knows whatever you say will be used against you.
Do Not Try to Reason with the “Protectors”
The violation of these rules by unaware family members is commonplace. A family desiring to put the incident behind them believes sanity will intervene at some point, and decide to contact the police and prosecution. The alleged victim and suspect will give written and videotaped statements. In addition, they will talk on the phone or offices of detectives and prosecutors without knowing they are being recorded.
The protectors are not interested in conducting a fair and thorough investigation. The accused and alleged victim who walk into a family advocacy center without an experienced attorney to “tell their side of things” or “clear this all up” is doing exactly what the authorities want. The protectors know what they are doing. At this meeting they will obtain real or implied admissions and circumstances presenting opportunity for battering coming from the accused’s own mouth.
An attorney can place you in a position so that you are “cooperating” with the investigation without incriminating yourself. The attorney can assist you in making the decision of whether to meet with the authorities. In most situations, the attorney knows the charge decision has already been made and that a meeting will not change the forthcoming prosecution.
Even if you have violated these rules, contact Dunham & Jones, Attorneys at Law immediately to protect yourself and your family!