Her Arraignment is Thursday. this is her first offense. One of her friends asked her to hold the empty container for him. she was caught with it after officer asked to search her bag. We do not have a lawyer but have been advised that one would be necessary at the next court appearance after the arraignment. Are we handling things the correct way?
Yes, you need to hire your daughter a lawyer.
Hire her a lawyer as soon as possible. This case could have serious implications on her driving privileges, among other things. Most lawyers, including myself, will give you a free consultation.
Yes, always make sure she has representation before going to court or making any statements.
So far, so good. However, this would be a good point in time to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney. As a former prosecutor, I am confident that you will need a lawyer to help you navigate this process and obtain a result for your daughter that keeps a conviction off of her record. In Georgia, criminal convictions can stay on your record for the rest of your life, so it is vital to see what other remedies are available to keep her record clean. She may qualify for a pre-trial program or diversion, and there may even be ways to challenge the case. Regardless, now would be the appropriate time to contact a lawyer for a free initial consultation.
If she is 16, it will be confusing. First, if she was arrested in Woodstock and lives in Cobb County, there will be two courts involved. If she lives in Cherokee County, there will be only one court involved. Either way, having one lawyer handle her whole case will be a good thing. I do juvenile court cases regularly.
On the plus side, its a juvenile court case. On the minus side, it could still affect her driving privileges and freedoms. And, based on my experience, I surmise that the version of facts shared with you by your daughter will be different than what the police say. Then, which avenue to take with the case will be determined- prejudging an apporach before all information is known is not in her best interests.
Give a call if we can be of assistance. And good luck in any event.
Thanks for considering my response on AVVO. The questioner and any reader do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Advice given by me on this website is general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.
I would recommend hiring an attorney. If the child admits to the offense, her license will be suspended. There is a statute under Georgia law for a conditional discharge which would save her license. An attorney will know how to properly request conditional discharge treatment. I would be happy to discuss this issue with you, please feel free to contact me at (770) 239-1618.