February 12, 2008 By Wallin & Klarich

We all love our friends and family. We all want to protect them from the possibility of going to jail. However, if you lie to the police in an attempt to protect your loved ones you could be facing a jail sentence.

A good example of this is the recent case of a loving 74 year old grandfather who had lent his car to his 23 year old grandson for a night out with his friends. The grandson drove the car drunk and caused an accident which resulted in the death of two people. The grandson was on probation for a prior drunk driving offense and was driving without a valid driver’s license.

The grandfather had no prior criminal record. He also knew that if the police determined that his grandson was the driver the punishment for his grandson would be many years in prison. The grandfather had no prior record. He decided he would tell the police that he was the driver of the car. The grandfather had not been drinking and he assumed that he would likely receive probation for the offense. While this was a loving decision on the part of the grandfather it resulted in serious criminal consequences for both grandfather and grandson.

The police were able to determine from physical evidence and statements made by the witnesses that the grandfather was in fact lying and that the grandson was the driver. The grandson was arrested for second degree murder.
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The grandfather was arrested and charged with lying to the police and obstruction of justice as well as being an “accessory after the fact” to this crime.

The result was that the grandson was recently sentenced to 16 years and four months in prison for second degree murder. Meanwhile, the grandfather, who trying to give his grandson the ultimate favor, was sentenced to six months in jail for his crimes.

At 74 years of age doing six months in jail is not an easy thing to do.
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IF you are questioned by a police officer please understand you DO NOT have to answer the officer’s questions, other than to identify yourself. However, if you choose to answer questions posed to you by a police officer, you can be arrested and prosecuted for a crime if it is later determined by the police and prosecutors that were not truthful. It is always better to consult with a lawyer before speaking to law enforcement.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal matter contact Wallin and Klarich 24/7. We will be here when you call.

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