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What will happen to a 17 yr. old charged with simple assault while in school and never been in trouble with law?

Memphis, TN |

My son was involved in an altercation with an ex and has been charged with simple assault. He has never been in trouble. He admits this was a mistake. the school has video proof yet will not allow me or son to see. My son dated this girl for several months and we found her very unstable. She has continued to harrass him, spread rumors and so forth, he reported this to school principal and nothing done. This has continued for 3 months. My son will turn 18 in 45 days and concerned will this affect his punishment when we go to court and if not or will what am I to expect at court? Will he go to jail, be on probation or what. I am scared. He was not raised like this.

Attorney Answers 3


While the Board of Professional Responsibility precludes a lawyer from giving specific "legal advice" to a non-client, we can answer generally how we would handle a specific case, and tell what we may charge to handle it. The punishment can vary depending upon his criminal record, the county where he was charged, the district attorney, and whether or not he has an attorney (believe it or not). So, it is important to find good reprsentation for your son. Don't try to rely on answers here to represent him yourself. Having been in this business over 26 years (on every side), and practiced in juvenile crimes, as well as serving on the Youth Staff at our Church, I have found that kids make mistakes. It is simply a fact of life. But they can "learn" from them, and actually may grow stronger for having gone through that at an early age. I would not worry about being treated more harshly because he is close to 18. He is still a juvenile, and has no record, so he would not likely be removed to Criminal (Adult) Court... based upon what you have told me here. Try not to worry. The main thing is to get this off of his record (even though Juvenile records may e sealed, you still want to get a diversion). And, a diversion is likley based upon the facts you have given. Don't hesitate to call if you need assistance. And, please reply with the County he was charged.

The answers provided on this site, and on our websites, are for educational purposes only. Since every case is factually different, I may need further information to provide the most up to date answers or responses to your questions. Furthermore, this may be construed to be an advertisement from an attorney, and the TN Board of Professional Responsibility requires that I advise you of such. In any event, my responses here do not suggest an attorney/client relationship, nor do they suggest representation in any matter. In order to have legal representation, you would need to set up an appointment. Blessings to you!

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Thank you so much for your response. Yes he has never been in trouble and these charges took place in Shelby County, TN. The victim had no markings of any type, so no injury at all. Again Thank you so very much you have made me feel much better being this was a mistake and he knows that is very sorry for his actions.


Regardless of his age now, he was under 18 at the time of event so it's a juvenile case.
You will need to hire an attorney.

Claiborne H. Ferguson, Esq. is * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.

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If he has been charged as a juvenile then it's unlikely (assuming he has not been in trouble with the law before) he's facing jail time. Of course, this would depend on the facts of the assault and the severity of the injury. He may be facing probation. As a juvenile it's unlikely he will end up with an adult record but it's important he be represented by an attorney to avoid that possibility.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. I provide this service for educational purposes only. I will take no action on your behalf unless you have hired me and a written retainer agreement is signed. I am licensed only in Tennessee and I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney in your city and state as Statute of Limitation deadlines can limit your recovery.

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