I have reason to believe that my son has vandalized city property, quite seriously perhaps. I am trying to come up with a plan to anonymously reimburse the city for damages (I understand, of course, that this must be handled with extreme caution), but my first priority is to keep him out of legal trouble. The incident occurred roughly 8 weeks ago, and to the best of my knowledge he has not had any correspondence with police or investigators yet. He knows not to answer questions without a lawyer. Would he have likely been contacted by now if he had been identified, or at what point can we breathe easy about that? The other question is, of course, how to go about reimbursing the city.
Thank you so much for your advice.
Criminal Defense Attorney
It is difficult to say whether or not your son has been identified by the police or not. I tend to agree that with eight weeks having gone by it would seem unlikely. However, the delay might also simply be the result of the police being otherwise occupied with other more pressing matters; therefore, I unfortunately can not tell you of a specific period of time that once it has elapsed your son can consider himself in the clear. There is no practical way that you can reimburse the city for the damages without the city knowing who the money came from, or what it is for. Even worse would be if you simply were to drop off an envelope with cash and then your son gets charged; how would you ever prove that that money for restitution came from you. You and your son could very well end up paying the restitution twice. I think the best course of action is simply to not do anything; set the money aside for the restitution if and when anything should ever happen. The only other real course of action you can take if you really want finality to this matter is simply to get your son an attorney and make arrangements to get this matter cleared up with the authorities. It is not inconceivable that this matter might get resolved without anything formally taking place in the courts.