Central Islip, NY asked in Criminal Law for New York

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)

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1 Lawyer Answer
Arkady Bukh
Arkady Bukh
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

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.

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