This article is the second in a three-part series on what overseas company counsel should do when an employee is arrested on a minor criminal charge while on business in the United States. Part I addressed the company’s need to understand the scope of the problem. Part III will discuss approaches to softening the possible impact of the event upon the employee’s ability to travel to the United States in the future.
A company’s situation with respect to an unattended criminal case, investigation, or other matter concerning either the company or an employee rarely gets better with age. After acting promptly and surely to identify and address the problem, the next step is aiding the employee in working out a positive resolution.
Step 4: Understand the available resolutions or “dispositions” of the matter.
Depending on the nature of the charge, a variety of different dispositions will be available. In the United States, the employee is always able to insist on a trial. The employee may maintain his or her innocence in the matter. A trial, however, may be costly and unpredictable. The uncertainty associated with a trial often leads criminal defendants in the United States to seek an agreed disposition with the prosecutors, especially if the disposition is favorable. The most favorable outcome is always one that does not involve a formal criminal conviction. The possible dispositions could include, depending on the jurisdiction: