Common Questions Regarding Criminal Defense and Juvenile Law

    Q: I don't want to tell my spouse I got another speeding ticket because our insurance rates will go up again. Should I get a lawyer to
    defend me?
    A: You can quietly pay the ticket and wait for a possible increase in car insurance or you can hire a lawyer who most likely will be able to
    lower the points or have the ticket taken under advisement, which means no points provided you do not get any more tickets for the
    following year. You will, however, be responsible for court costs and, of course, the lawyer fee.

    Q: My daughter, who is only 14, was arrested for shoplifting and now has a court date in the juvenile court. Will she have this on her
    A: An arrest is not a conviction but if she does plea to shoplifting she will not have the incident on her record, although courts will have a
    record of it. Most, but not all, juvenile (adjudications) convictions are unavailable to the public and to prospective employers so when she
    applies for a job and is asked if ever convicted of a crime she can safely answer "no" .

    Q: My brother and his wife are being charged with neglect of their children because their house is a mess (they are hoarders, well his
    wife is for sure) and I think they are addicted to drugs. The Department of Human Services removed their children from the house and
    they have court next week. What can they expect to happen?
    A:  From what you have said the most likely outcome will be that the court finds probable cause that the children are neglected and living
    in an unsafe place. The parents will sign a parent-agency agreement which is an agreement between the parents and the Department of
    Human Services. This agreement will specify what the parents must do to get the children back. In the meantime, the court will usually
    permit the parents to have visitation with their children. If the parents comply with the parent-agency agreement then the children will be
    returned to the parents. This can often take months and even years. The children most likely will be placed with a relative of the family
    during this period. If no relatives or family members are willing to take care of the children then the children may be placed temporarily in
    a foster home. If the parents do not substantially comply with the parent-agency agreement within a certain time (usually a year) then the
    court will terminate their parental rights and the children will be placed for adoption.

    Q:  My husband is a good provider but he has a temper problem and sometimes I think I cause it. Last night he was drinking again and
    we argued. He hit me several times and then my 15 year old son, from a previous marriage, called the police. My husband was arrested
    for domestic violence and spent the night in jail. There also is a "no contact" order so he cannot return home. I want to drop the charges
    so he will not go to court and I want him to return home.
    A: You cannot drop the charges because the matter is now between the city attorney/prosectuor and your husband. You are a victim and
    cannot make this matter just go away by refusing to press charges and your son is mostly likely a witness to the event. If this is the first
    time your husband was arrested for domestic violence then he should get an attorney who may be able to keep the conviction off his
    record. To do this, he will have to plead guilty and then comply with all probation requirements, which most likely will be anger
    management classes and alcohol abuse counseling. The probationary period could last a year. The court may also require him to wear
    an alcohol-testing tether for a few months. If your husband complies with all the court's requirements then the domestic violence
    conviction will not be entered on his record. If your husband has prior domestic violence convictions then the outcome for your husband
    could be much worse. A third conviction of domestic violence raises it from a misdemeanor to a felony and he could spend some time in
    jail. It might be a good idea if you both get counseling.

    Q: I was pulled over by the police and charged with driving on a suspended license. I did not know my license could be suspended simply
    because I have not payed other traffic tickets. Do I need a lawyer for this?
    A: Yes, you should retain a lawyer. Driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor and subjects you to higher court costs and the
    possibility of jail time. Your lawyer may be able to adjourn your court case so that you can pay all outstanding traffic tickets and have your
    driver's license valid. Then your attorney may be able to persuade the city attorney/prosector to dismiss the charge of driving on a
    suspended license and instead have you plea to no operator's license on person.

    The answers given above are intended to give you general guidance but it is always necessary to consult an attorney
    regarding your specific circumstances.
Let Us Help You With:
Drunk Driving
Domestic Violence
Traffic Tickets
Driving While License Suspended
All Juvenile Crimes
All Drug and Sex Crimes
Breaking and Entering
Setting Aside a Conviction
Parent Neglect Cases
All Felonies and Misdemeanors
Our Average Attorney Fees (Excluding Trial)
Misdemeanor: $950.00 +
Felony: $1,500.00 +
Traffic Ticket: $200.00 +
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Q: My son was charged with a small amount of illegal drugs in his pocket and his
lawyer told me may be eligible for 7411 or HYTA What is that?
A: Fortunately, the law is almost forgiving for some first time offenders. 7411 is a
statute whereby your son would have to plead guilty to possession (not delivery or
manufacture) of the illegal drug and the matter would not result in a conviction if
there are no other violations and he follows all probationary rules.
7411 is only used
for illegal possession of drugs and is usually only granted once. Holmes Youthful
Trainee Act
(HYTA) is also a forgiving statute that provides that a person under the
age of 21 who commits a non-violent crime and has no criminal record may also have
no conviction on his record if there are no other violations and he follows all the
probationary rules. The judge will probably inform your son that he gets only one bite
at this apple, and this was it.
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or call 586-783-8095 to discuss your legal matter.