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Why does a public defender suggest a juvenile to take the decree and not go to trial when the juvenile feels they are innocent?

Philadelphia, PA |

A juvenile is arrested for simple assault and accused of retail theft after being attacked by owner who attacked juvenile first because they thought juvenile took item but did not. The juvenile fought back to defend self but get arrested and charged for robbery and assault. But nothing was taken and owner over reacted and grab juvenile off guard and juvenile hit owner. Juvenile is good kid, no trouble or bad behavior. But public defender say take deal so there will be not trial. why would a defender do that?

Attorney Answers 3


A consent decree is a juvenile first time offenders program. Under the program, the juvenile dies not admit guilt but instead is put on probation without verdict. At the end of the program the charges are dismissed and the case expunged. It is a safer bet than taking a chance with trial.

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It is impossible to tell without knowing what's in the PD's file. Public defenders are experienced litigators and they evidence that they work with. It will be wrong on another attorney's part to second guess someone who is familiar with the file, That being said,PD's are attorneys and juveniles are their clients, so PD can advise the client to take a deal but not force them

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My colleagues have it right. An experienced criminal defense attorney will consider the evidence and explain the client's options. However, it is always the client's choice to accept the deal offered or maintain their innocence and demand a trial. No one here is in a position to second guess the juvenile's attorney. If you are the parent or guardian, you should contact the attorney and ask him or her to explain why a plea deal is in the juvenile's best interest. Good luck!

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