Legal Question in Mediation in California

Sometime last year my husband helped his cousin and her husband buy a safe. My husband had a connection from a discount outlet type store and was able to get a large discount by buying the safe for them. The safe was a returned item and had a strong marajuana Oder coming from it, so my husband agreen to keep it in our garage and air it out and clean it up just because he's a nice guy (idiot) and because they weren't married yet and didn't have a house to put the safe in. Because he was airing it out he knew the "master code " to open the safe.

Well some time in april we were invited to a barbecue at there house. We had a great time and had not heard from them since despite inviting them over and trying to make contact with them. This Friday my husband gets an urgent phone call from his cousin to meet her right away at a park, that it was an emergency and to not tell anyone where he was going. So he rushed out of the house and drive to some park in Burbank, thinking the worst. When he got there his cousin told him that her husband who owns a business with some partners, are missing a large amount of money that was in that safe that belonged to the company is now missing. She said that the partners are threatening to press charges if the three people who know the code

( the cousin, my husband, and her husband) of the safe to take a polygraph test, and when they come back clean they will consider the missing money a loss. Well my husband being the good guy he is wanted everything to be okay with his cousin who he considers a sister because he's an only child, agreed to go take the test as soon as possible. He knew he had nothing to hide and couldn't even beleive his name was in question.

He took the test this Sunday at a location that they chose and to our surprise the results came back at 97% that he took the money!!! This is absolutely absurd. And what was more shocking was that the investigator told him the amount that was missing was $10,000! This is ridiculous, how did he fail the test? Is he entitled to a copy of the test? What can we do to protect ourselves? Can we take legal action against them for putting us through this?

I have known my husband since he was 16. I would bet my soul, that he did not take anything from there house let alone $10,000. In the time that I have known my husband I have not seen him cry, but when he came home I opened the door and he fell to his knees crying! He foesnt have a criminal record no drugs ever. Cant lie to save his life! Please let us know what we can do. Should we Scedule our own polygraph test? Please help!

Asked on 6/24/13, 6:00 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

James Goff James R. Goff, Attorney at Law
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Sounds like a shakedown scheme. Just to be safe your husband should get a lawyer to protect himself. Under advice from his attorney he may want to present these facts to the police for investigation. However, this should only be done if your husband gets his attorneys ok, and is truthful.

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6/24/13, 10:35 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless
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He already violated the first rule of criminal defense:

exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to police or anyone about the case except with and through an attorney.

Whether his statements, or the test can be used against him, and whether he will have criminal charges filed, are now the questions he should be asking.

While this isn't a 'capital case', it certainly carries potential ‘time’, so handle it right. Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, programs, or other decent outcome through motions, plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.

If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. I’ll be happy to help fight and get the best outcome possible, using whatever defenses and sympathies there may be.

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6/25/13, 2:07 pm

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