My eighteen year old son (hs senior) was arrested for statutory rape, initially. Later, first degree rape charges were added. The girl was fifteen. We cannot find any information out and my son is in jail, so I don’t want to ask him on the phone. All he told me is the police called him to come down twice and he didn’t think anything of it, he was just trying to be cooperative. He lives with other family, and I’m in California. No one knew what was going on, and we are all in the dark. He’s been there a week, and said he didn’t want the court appointed one, but I told him to ask for one, so he just filed paper work. How can I get the information, so we know what is going on, evidence, what was said on both sides? Do we have to wait for the lawyer? Will he get to have a lawyer?
He needs to immediately request a preliminary hearing as well as a court appointed lawyer. He can send letters to the clerk requesting both. The jail will have the indigency form he will have to submit to the clerk along with his request for an appointed lawyer. He only has 30 days from date of arrest to request a preliminary hearing.
As always, no attorney/client relationship is created by this answer and I recommend that you contact a local, experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss your particular situation.
Your son is facing one of the most serious charges. You need to hire a lawyer for your son as soon as possible. Cooperation in this type situation is only going to land your son in jail for a very long time. You are, however, correct not to speak with your son over the jail telephones. It is recorded and will be used as evidence. He does not need to speak with you or anyone other than his own lawyer at this point. Advise him to remain silent until he obtains the advice of counsel.
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Rape in the first degree is an extremely serious charge and is classified as a Class A felony crime with a potential punishment of up to life in prison. In regard to sentencing, see Code of Alabama, 1975, section 13A-5-6: "1) For a Class A felony, for life or not more than 99 years or less than 10 years." That fact alone should cause you great concern. While the facts of the incident may indicate the lesser crime of Rape in the Second Degree, that crime is a serious felony offense as well. Your son absolutely needs to best criminal defense lawyer that you can afford. Check the Avvo listing under 'Criminal Defense' for qualified criminal defense attorneys in your area.
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