Skip to main content

My son (age 23) was arrested/charged with disorderly conduct after witnessing a fight and trying to tell officer what he saw.

Atlanta, GA |

Was told to "shut up" but he attempted to tell 2nd officer what he saw. 1st officer then cuffed/arrested him..was released same night since has no prior arrests. He is scheduled for a pre-trial intervention & is a college student with no $. Should he ask for a court appt. attorney or just go on his own. He hopes it will be dismissed since there are witnesses that he wasn't involved in the fight. He should have obeyed the "shut up" but had no idea he would would be arrested with no involvement in the fight. He is also scheduled to meet with solicitor but not sure why or what to expect. This was in Fulton County, GA.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

He should definitely be represented by an attorney. If he cannot afford an attorney, he should request the opportunity to apply for the services of the public defender.

Whether the prosecutor will elect to pursue the case or agree to a dismissal will depend on how the police officer portrays your son's actions in the incident report and other evidence that may be available to the prosecutor (such as video recordings). He very well may qualify for a pre-trial diversion program that could result in the charge being dismissed and possibly expunged after he meets certain conditions. Eligibility for a diversion program depends on the facts of the case, his record and other factors.

I recommend that he speak with me, or another experienced attorney, if he would like to discuss his case in more detail. If he does not wish to engage the services of a private attorney, he should definitely request the services of a public defender and not try to go through this process alone.

DISCLAIMER: This answer does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationsip has been, or will be, created until a valid engagement agreement is signed. No duty arises from this posting. Answers posted here are general and made with limited knowledge of the actual facts of your case. Always speak with an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction if you wish legal advice specific to your case.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

4 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you. Since he isn't a minor and has no income (full time student), will he quilify for a public defender? Also, he is scheduled to meet wit hthe solicitor but not sure why. Should he ask for a public defender first?

James B. Hernan

James B. Hernan

Posted

If he has no income or assets sufficient to be able to afford an attorney pursuant to the court guidelines, he should qualify. I can't say for sure, but it sounds like he would based on what you have posted. His court appointed attorney would probably not want him meeting with the prosecutor without the attorney having an opportunity to determine if that is in his best interest. Generally, the attorney would be the one negotiating with the prosecutor. I am not sure if you are suggesting that his case is on the court's calendar for a pre-trial conference or if the prosecutor requested a private meeting outside of court. The prosecutor may want to speak with him to get his side of the story or to determine if he would be a good witness against the others charged related to the fight. His attorney would be able to ascertain the purpose of the meeting. Remember this is all general advice, as I do not know the specifics of your son's case.

Asker

Posted

He asked for a public defender but was instead scheduled to speak with the solicitor...again, have no idea why. At the arraignment (?) after the arrest, he was told he qualified for the Pretrial Intervention and at most would get community service and then charges dropped. He is to meet with the solicitor this week and then the pretrial intervention is July 23. Just don't want him having to pay a fine or even do community service if, indeed, he isn't guilty of the charges. Will tell him to call tomorrow and at the very least verify why he is meeting with the solicitor before he has a public defender. Again, thank you for your help.

James B. Hernan

James B. Hernan

Posted

It sounds like they are offering him the pre-trial diversion program in Fulton that is done before the case is sent to the prosecutor's office to be formerly accused. His "meeting" may be to show progress on meeting the conditions of the diversion program. If completion of the conditions will result in the charges being dropped and the case expunged from his record, he really needs to think about whether he wants to fight the case or take the deal presented to him. They probably gave him a card with the court date on it. That card may have a number he can call to request clarification regarding the program. I hope it works out for him.

Posted

Your statement that your son is "scheduled to meet with the solicitor but not sure why or what to expect" should be indication enough to you that your son needs a lawyer. The prosecutor is not on your son's side and if the prosecutor believed your son should have never been arrested, he/she could have dismissed the case without your son ever having to go to court. If you have the means to help with I would hope you would hire him a lawyer as your son will get much more personalized service from a private lawyer than a public defender. Please contact me if you would like to discuss his case in detail. 404-812-4305.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Posted

I agree that an attorney is needed. If you are interested, I answered a very similar question yesterday and discussed the disorderly conduct statute. It can be found in the link below:

This response is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please note that the information I provide is for the state of Georgia only and should not be used for any purpose in any other jurisdiction.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics