Recently was at a small gathering of 7 twenty y/o's at a local pool. Cops showed up, asked if we had been drinking, to which we responded "Yes, one or two beers each". We were then arrested, not mirandized if it matters, and taken to the local jail without any sobriety tests. Our court date is in 9 days and I would like to know if I need a lawyer or not. I have never been in any trouble before, and do not know if I should use a diversion. At this point my father was just going to go and represent me. What should I expect?
If your father is a licensed attorney then he can advise you as to the advise-ability of his representing you. If he is not and you can afford counsel, hire counsel immediately (if you cannot afford counsel, ask to have counsel appointed). You want to handle this matter appropriately to get the best result possible, and the last thing you want is to look back on this time and wish you'd taken matters more seriously.
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It sounds as though you have a defense, but you need an attorney to help you find the best possible resolution.
First, your Father will not be permitted to represent you unless he is a licensed attorney. The Court will not allow him to do so. Second, you may have several possible defenses to these charges. In particular, if this pool was at a private residence and the police came into the pool area without permission and without a warrant, there may be a question as to whether their intrusion into the pool area constituted a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Federal Constitution and/or Article I, Section 8 of the Tennessee Constitution. Even if you do not have any strong defenses to the charges, there may be ways to have the charges dismissed without using a formal diversion. In any event, this is certainly something that you will want to keep off of your permanent record. I would strongly advise hiring an attorney to assist you in this matter rather than attempting to handle it on your own. Best of Luck!
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