The border crossing at TJ or Tijuana or San Ysidro into the United States is the most heavily crossed international border in the world. That is right. The World! So, San Diego Defenders gets a lot of calls from concerned parents and spouses. Do you know how I can find my son-in-law? I have not heard from my husband and I think he was arrested, can you find him? These are questions we get a lot.
So we start our search for federal inmates, state jails, immigration, ICE, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, to name a few. It is tricky business finding these people that have been arrested and almost seem to disappear. Recently, I was called by a mother about her son that had not been seen since the first of the week, But she had received a call from someone claiming to be a friend telling her that she may want to get a lawyer for her son because he had been arrested.
When she came to me, I have to be honest. If I cannot find him in my first few searches, they will need to come into the office and retain my services to launch a full search which usually takes 24-48 hours before I can figure out where they are. I have to charge a fee for that service because it takes a great deal of time and expertise. I have been practicing law for 25 years and I have acquired knowledge in where to look, who to ask, and how to act toward the agency that may be holding the person I am looking for. Abraham Lincoln once said, “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.”
Quite simply, that means that a lawyer that has been practicing criminal law close to a border town his whole life knows a lot more than a new lawyer, and especially one that does not have an office only a few minutes from the border.
Sometimes I am asked, well your consultation is free, correct? Yes, my initial consultation on the phone is free and I will try to find your loved one immediately. If I cannot find him or her immediately, chances are I am going to have to spend some time. And that is definitely has value. For instance, in the case of the mother looking for her son, I had time to stop the agents from so-called voluntary talks. I then called the prosecutor and arranged to meet my client and make sure that we had an agreement in place if any more discussions were going to take place. If not, I am going to advise her son to ask if he is free to go and come to my office. If he is not free to go, I will advise him to invoke his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
Quite simply, I am protecting the Constitution and the rights it gives an individual to help themselves with the guidance of his lawyer. If the case is drug related, I want to know a few things, such as what the son was telling the arresting officer and what kind of drug it was if he knows. That can be very important in determining the next move to make in the case. If it is marijuana and under 100 lbs. it may be a state prosecution verses a federal case. My office is across the street from the Chula Vista, or South Bay Court House where most of those types of cases are heard. The arrested son’s immigration status will of course be an issue as to how I proceed from there.
Was the son being used as a mule to carry methamphetamine without even knowing it? Or has the son been followed in the past by the Homeland Security Investigation team sometimes known as HSI. There are so many questions and the landscape of the method of prosecution is changing. I would advise you to call us at (619) 258-8888 if you must speak to the attorney, Daniel Smith immediately. They will try to connect you to me on my cell phone and I will get right on it. Check us out on Yelp, Google, AVVO, or just go straight to our website www.sandiegodefenders.com and make sure you feel comfortable with our firm. Although my Spanish could be better, my certified paralegal speaks Spanish fluently and we will answer all the questions we can in our first call.