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Gabrielle Ann Tetreault

Gabrielle Tetreault’s Answers

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  • My 14 yr. old daughter was hit in the face at school. We pressed assault charges. What happens next?

    The other girl was suspended from school. The police told us we would receive a call from JDC and they would decide what will happen to the girl who hit my daughter. Can you explain the process this whole ordeal will go through? If this ends up...

    Gabrielle’s Answer

    A person may want to "press charges" but it is really up to the district attorney's office to decide whether they will actaully prosecute the other girl who hit your daughter. There is not much of an "ordeal" for you or your daughter. If you are interested in making sure this gets prosecuted, you should go ahead and contact the JDC (district attorney) letting them know your desire. If they prosecute, they will notify you of the court date and time. The JDC can also ask the court for a STAY AWAY order on your daughters behalf. This is a court order ordering the other girl to stay away from, not contact, annoy, strike or harrass your daughter.

    You do not need a lawyer (unless you beleive that your child did something illegal or wrong that might subject your child to criminal/educational accusations...but from you post it does not sound like this is the case.

    If you do get called to court, your daughter may have to take the stand and give testimony, under oath about what happened. Then, if the court finds that the other girl did unlawfully assault your daughter, then the court will figure out an apporpriate punishment for that other girl. You and your daughter are allowed to go to court and give a "victims" statement to the court about what you feel an apporpriate sentance should be. Sometimes, that punishment could include a continuing court order for the other girl to stay away from your daughter.

    Often times, these cases are resolved without your daughter ever havign to testify. This is called a "plea" deal. The other child might "agree" to not have a trial in exchanged for a pre negotiated punishment or lesser charge. In that case, your daughter will not have to testify under oath, but she can, is she wants, she can still go to court and tell the judge what you would like to see as an appropriate punishment.

    You can be as much involved in the process, or as little involved in the process as you wish. Many vicitims of this type of offense, never make a single call, never go to court, and never speak at the sentancing. The process can, and often does, go on with out you.

    The probation department might also mail you letter asking if you have any medical expenses or other money type damages from the incident. As part of the punishment, the other girl may be ordered to pay you money to reimburse you fror these expenses, costs, medical fees.

    This is the proces in California, it should be relatively similar in your state, but I can not say for sure.

    Best wishes and God bless you and your family!

    Gabrielle A. Tetreaut, Esq. CWLS

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