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My nephew is on a most wanted list in Kitsap County Wa for child molestation, but claims he is innocent.

Bremerton, WA |

He is currently residing with his grandparents, and they became aware of the warrant today. Are they considered to be harboring a fugitive by allowing him to remain there without turning himself in to the authorities?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

As the other answers state, the grandparents do face some risk of getting in trouble if they allow him to live with them while aware that he has a warrant for his arrest. They should consider talking to a lawyer for themselves, and encourage the nephew/grandson to contact a separate lawyer for himself.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your prompt response. He has retained counsel and on his advice has turned himself in to the authorities.

Posted

In a nutshell, yes. If they became aware of the warrant today they should respond promptly. All persons who are charged with crimes are innocent until proven guilty, but it is also pretty typical that a person facing serious time is, in their own mind, innocent of the charges.

But being on a "most wanted list" is not the same as a warrant. A warrant tells law enforcement that this person has failed to appear before a judge when ordered to do so. If your nephew failed to appear before a judge, that is not the same as admitting/denying a charge.

Elizabeth Powell

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Asker

Posted

A bail amount has been set at 50,000, does this indicate that he has been charged, but hasn't responded?

Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Posted

I can't tell without seeing the warrant. If you go to courts.wa.gov, and use the name search you *may* be able to see the docket of his case, if there is one. Elizabeth Powell

Posted

His grandparents could potentially face charges for rendering criminal assistance in the first or second degree if they know he's wanted but harbor or conceal him. See RCW 9A.76.050, .070, and .080 for details. His grandparents need to hire a lawyer and consult with him or her about the best course of action to protect themselves.

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Donna Eugenia Vasilkovs

Donna Eugenia Vasilkovs

Posted

As long as they encourage him to turn himself in and do not lie if questioned about his whereabouts by the authorities, his grandparents are not breaking the law or rendering criminal assistance. However, if he continues to evade the charges and they fail to, for example, return a police officer's telephone call inquiring about his whereabouts, then they may feel be complicit but they are not criminally liable under the law unless thay LIE to the authoritires and state they are unaware of his whereabouts. If I were them I would give him an ultimatum. BUT FIRST HE NEEDS TO RETAIN AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL LAWYER! She can negotiate the terms of his "surrender" to the authoritities. Then the grand folks need to tell him to abide by his attorney's agreement with law enforcement or he'll be out on the street! If he does not "surrender" in this manner he has no chance of being released on his own recognizance (PR'd, essentially being allowed to remain free to return on his next court w/o the necessity of posting bail). If he waits until they arrest him, he'll be detained and will need to post considerable bail to get out of jail pending trial).The grandparents should be supportive of his claim of innocence but encourage him to clear his name by facing the charges in open court.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for responding. He went to a lawyer and turned himself in on the lawyers advice. We'll see what happens next.