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Federal charges: Aid and Abet, Harboring, Lying to Federal Agent, will I serve time?

Chester, PA |

My son lead me to believe that he was cooperating with his Probation when the above charges were brought on me.

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Attorney answers 5


Federal sentencing guidelines are typically harsher than comparable state guidelines. I would need additional information to provide a more specific answer.

20 West 3rd Street
Media, PA 19063



March 22, 2012 my son stopped by the house after visiting the grave site of my mother on the day of what would of been her 78th birthday for no more than 15 minutes. Found out in April 2012 my son was in violation of Probation. When Federal Agent asked if I seen my son, I was indirect with him. After the Federal Agent left, I felt guilty and immediately called him to be forthright about seeing my son. Daily stuff, daily stresses continue in my life, trying to make my bills, trying to find steady work and a steady income. My priorities are not to the Federal Agent not to my son but to myself. Struggling to pay my bills, In late April 2012 I realize that I can liquidate my whole life dividend. I've been paying on my son's Life Insurance Policy also. I inquire about liquidating both policies. I get in touch with my son through the social networking site Facebook. I can't call his cell phone it is turned off because of non payment. My son is aware of my circumstance, comes home about 4:30am. We have a few words. He tells me he will deposit money into my account once the check clears. I told him to keep enough money to get cell phone turned back on. The amount approx. $650.00. My son deposits $1000.00 into my account early May 2012. I go about my daily stuff. I forgot about the Federal Agent, my son is leaving me believe he cooperating with those he needs to be working with. Late May I get a phone call from the Federal Agent that was at my house in April. Unprepared I was indirect again with the Agent. After realizing what I had said to the Agent I immediately call him. He tells me that a warrant for my arrest will be drawn up on charges of; Aid and Abet, Harboring, and Lying to a Federal Agent. I tried getting in touch with my son. He Blocks me in Facebook, I turn to some of his friends in Facebook, my son blocks them. Got in touch with my ex wife on Facebook, he blocks her to. My ex wife can verify that I'm easily manipulated by my son. I'm the person that inquired about this subject.....don't have the fees to pay an Attorney. I'm just trying to find out how much trouble I'm in.


Federal sentencing determinations are quite compllicated and only considerable familiarity with the case would enable an attorney to estimate a potential range of sentence. Even then, it would be an educated guess and nothing more. Even if there were a plea agreement with the Government committed to recommend a specific sentence, the judge is under no obligation to follow it.

You should not even dream of facing a federal charge with an attorney who knows federal criminal defense practice. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney the court will appoint one for you. Lawyers on the federal appointment lists are generally highly capable and experienced.


It sounds like you were charged with harboring your son from arrest on a probation violation or some new offense. If, as you say, you were unaware that he was wanted, you cannot be convicted of harboring. The statute requires that you concealed someone from arrest "after notice or knowledge of the fact that a warrant or process has been issued for the apprehension of such person." But presumably when you spoke to the federal agent, you learned the actual situation, but have been charged with lying to him. The sentencing guideline for harboring depends on the offense for which your son was wanted and on your prior record. If you have no prior record and the offense for your son is a serious one, you would be looking at about 3 years. This is only an advisory guideline, however. The judge can go below this based on a number of factors, such as that it is a natural instinct for a parent to try to protect their son. You should get a federal criminal defense lawyer if you don't already have one.

This answer is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as the practice of law in any jurisdiction in which I am not licensed. The answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is based only on the information provided, and may be inaccurate in the context of additional facts that have not been provided. The questioner should be aware that I am only licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Minnesota. Accordingly, before taking any action or refraining from taking any action, the questioner should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in his or her jurisdiction.

Vito R. De La Cruz

Vito R. De La Cruz


This is the most well rounded answer for the questioner. First things first: consult with an experienced federal criminal defense practitioner. It is true that federal court may appear to be a scary place. But, with the assistance of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney, you will likely get the most comprehensive answer to your questions in a confidential consultation. Good luck.


You could face time for the described offenses. Probation is also possible, but do not make the mistake that many do and fail to defend yourself. Often, defendants get surprised at sentencing and receive jail tim when they and their attorney expect probation. Federal sentencing can be harsh and it will take an experienced attorney considerable time to competantly prepare your defense. Do not assume that you must plead guilty either. Look for an attorney that has experience in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. It is hard to condemn a parent for protecting their child, get an attorney and get serious.


Evan Hughes, Esquire


You have to have known that your son was a fugitive to be charged with harboring, although the basis for the false statement charge is unclear. I recommend that you retain a federal criminal defense attorney immediately, if you have not done so already.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.

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