Q: Do the words, "you're being investigated and it's your interest to obtain a lawyer", constitute "legal advice"?
Rather than say the above to my WW2-veteran, family member who'd actually been under an investigation, an administrator at the VA rather chose to inform him of the procedure by stating, "you're being investigated and for it to be legal it must be by a next of kin" (implicating me/all innocent family in the process!) Though the employee was following protocol as the VA "doesn't provide legal assistance nor legal advice"it's also stated in their "Notice of Privacy Practices" that, "If a breach of any of your protected Health Information occurs, we will notify you and provide instructions for further action you should take, if any." Maybe because he's family but it seems as if the administrator, if not outright confusing my elderly parent, certainly left much for him to "fill in" since he'd never been charged with a crime (he was later hospitalized due to being informed; his father was a 22 yr vet of NYC PD, a son, a 20 yr.,NYC Correction Officer retiree)
A: This is not technically legal advice, this appears to be a statement regarding the VA policy about investigated. This was undoubtedly confusing to your relative and the VA procedures can be confusing to anyone. If anyone tries to investigate your relative for a crime, he needs to retain a criminal defense attorney before talking with any investigator.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.