Garrity Warning Defense Lawyer in Indiana
When public employees are given a Garrity Warning, they often feel a wave of anxiety. They may wonder: What am I being investigated for? What are my rights in this situation? How should I proceed? Well, in situations like these, the best thing that a public employee can do is retain the services of a defense lawyer in Indiana who is familiar with Garrity warnings and the circumstances in which they are used. By doing so, they’ll be able to better understand their rights as a public employee and rely on sound legal guidance as they navigate any internal investigations that may be in play.
If you’re currently a public employee who has already been given a Garrity warning or believes that one is forthcoming, don’t hesitate to contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our Indianapolis defense lawyers all have a thorough understanding of the Garrity protections granted to government employees and the experience required to ensure that those protections are honored by the investigating authorities. To speak with a Garrity warning defense lawyer in Indiana today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
The Purpose and History of Garrity Warnings
Garrity warning is a term used in the United States to describe a specific type of warning given to federal government employees, state government employees, local government employees, and any other government agency employees who are compelled to provide statements or testimony in internal investigations. The purpose of these warnings is to inform public employees of their Garrity rights against self-incrimination when they are required to give statements as part of an internal investigation conducted by their employing agency.
It’s important to note that a government employee’s Garrity rights are only applicable when they’re compelled to cooperate with an investigation or inquiry and the refusal to do so will explicitly result in the termination of their employment. In situations like these, the employee’s protections under the Garrity rule provide them with use/derivative use immunity, which applies to their statement on the matter and any evidence gained because of that statement. That being said, an employee may still be prosecuted for the offense being investigated provided that the prosecution relies wholly on evidence other than the protected statement or any evidence derived from the protected statement. Given this, it’s vital that any employee being investigated hire a Garrity warning defense lawyer in Indiana.
The History of Garrity Warnings and Protections
The name “Garrity” comes from the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Garrity v. New Jersey, which established the guidelines for such warnings. This case arose from a situation in the early 1960s where the state of New Jersey investigated allegations of corruption within two police departments. As part of this internal investigation, police officers were compelled to provide statements under threat of being fired if they refused to cooperate.
Several police officers, including Thomas Garrity, were called to testify before a grand jury as part of the investigation. These officers were informed that their statements would not be used against them in criminal proceedings but that they could face termination if they refused to answer questions.
The police officers challenged the requirement to provide statements, arguing that their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination were being violated. They contended that their statements, even if granted immunity from use in criminal prosecutions, could still be used against them in administrative proceedings leading to their dismissal from employment.
The case eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, which decided the matter in 1967. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the statements obtained from the police officers under threat of termination were coerced and violated their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
The Court ruled that public employees have the same constitutional rights as any other individual and that their statements compelled under threat of dismissal cannot be used against them in subsequent criminal prosecutions. This decision led to the establishment of what became known as “Garrity warnings” to inform public employees of their rights against self-incrimination in internal investigations.
Garrity v. New Jersey is considered a landmark case because it clarified the constitutional protections afforded to public employees during internal investigations and set important guidelines for balancing the needs of internal oversight with the preservation of employees’ rights against self-incrimination.
The Importance of Hiring a Garrity Warning Defense Lawyer in Indiana
When a public employee is given a Garrity warning in Indiana, it often means that they’ll soon be required to provide statements or testimony as part of an internal investigation conducted by a governmental agency, such as a law enforcement department. Although the warning typically states that the information they provide cannot be used against them in a subsequent criminal proceeding, all public employees should understand that they risk disciplinary action or termination if they refuse to cooperate. Furthermore, an employee’s Garrity rights do not apply to false statements and their immunity from criminal action does not extend to any evidence derived from the statement or other independent sources. This means that while they cannot self-incriminate themselves, they may still be subject to criminal charges if there is sufficient evidence to justify such action.
Given the seriousness of being issued a Garrity warning, it’s vital that any employee in this type of situation retain the services of a Garrity warning defense lawyer in Indiana. Doing so will put them in a better position to protect their rights, interests, and career; and ensure that they fully understand their rights and obligations under the law.
Five Benefits of Working with a Garrity Warning Defense Lawyer in Indiana:
- Experienced Legal Counsel: An experienced Indiana defense attorney can provide a public employee with valuable insight into the implications of a Garrity warning, the scope of immunity provided, and the potential consequences of being investigated. Furthermore, they can help the employee navigate the complexities of the internal investigation and ensure that they fully understand the potential risks and benefits of providing statements or invoking their fifth amendment rights.
- Investigation Accountability: The best defense lawyers in Indiana often keep a close eye on the internal investigations involving their client, ensuring that everything is being conducted in a lawful manner, in accordance with relevant policies and procedures. Doing so means they’re in a strong position to assess whether any of their client’s constitutional rights are being violated or if a procedural irregularity has occurred that may impact the fairness of the overall investigation.
- Expert Negotiation: In certain situations, a defense attorney may be able to engage in negotiations, on behalf of their client, with the employing agency This could involve discussions regarding the scope of the investigation, the terms of cooperation, potential disciplinary actions, or other relevant matters to secure the best possible outcome for the employee.
- Legal Representation in All Relevant Proceedings: If the internal investigation leads to administrative or disciplinary proceedings, an attorney can present arguments, evidence, and witnesses on behalf of the employee and advocate for a fair and just outcome.
- Challenge Adverse Actions: When an employee faces adverse actions, such as termination, because of the investigation, their Indiana Garrity Warning defense attorney can challenge those actions through appropriate legal channels. They can also help evaluate the basis for the adverse action and determine if there are grounds for appeal, grievance, or other legal remedies available to protect the employee’s rights.
Ready to Talk with a Garrity Warning Lawyer in Indiana?
If you or a loved one is a public employee that has been issued a Garrity warning or believes that one is forthcoming, don’t hesitate to contact the Indiana Garrity Warning attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our Indiana criminal defense attorneys are former deputy prosecutors who have extensive experience in both employment and constitutional law. They fully understand the scope of protections offered under the Garrity rule and can provide personalized legal advice and sound guidance as you navigate any investigation. To speak with an Indiana Garrity warning lawyer today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.