An arrest is a stressful event for an adult who is prepared for the process. To an inexperienced teenager, however, it can be worse than traumatizing: teens can be more likely than adults to inadvertently waive important constitutional rights than they do not know they have. Experienced juvenile defense attorney Kyle Epps has decades of experience in protecting the legal rights of juvenile defendants. He will guide you and your teen through the criminal justice process to ensure that your family’s rights are respected at every step of the way.
Here is a general overview of what will happen after your teen has been arrested:
After any suspect has been arrested, standard police practice is to question him or her about the offense. Teens, like adults, have Miranda Rights. These are the warnings which are familiar from television crime shows:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can be held against you.
- You have the right to an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you at no expense.
Unfortunately, these familiar words do not make clear the full scope of rights that a defendant has. For example: simply staying silent will not stop police questioning. The defendant must actually state that he or she is invoking the right to silence. These and other minute rules are difficult even for adults to understand – let alone an inexperienced teenager who has been forced into the adult criminal justice process. It is crucial that teens not speak to police about the events in question without an attorney present.
Once police determine what happened and who is to blame, they will charge a defendant with the offense or offenses they believe the defendant committed. For misdemeanors and smaller offenses, this can be done by an officer filing a charge directly with the court. For more serious offenses, a prosecuting attorney will make a determination of which offenses were committed, and file charges with the court him or herself. The prosecutor will also file a statement of probable cause, which gives the specific facts which lead one to believe that the defendant committed the charged offense. Such probable cause statements can occur in various forms.
(3) Court appearances
Once the initial charges have been filed, the defendant will be summoned to appear in juvenile court on a specific date and time. For very serious offenses, a prosecutor may seek an arrest warrant, and the defendant may be arrested pending his or her court appearance. Once the initial court appearance has been scheduled, the case can begin to move forward substantively. At this point, a defendant’s attorney may begin plea negotiations with a prosecutor. If these negotiations are unsuccessful, the defense attorney can also begin to prepare for trial.
Contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney Today for an Initial Consultation
Juvenile defendants are usually unprepared for the stress of police questioning. Saying the wrong thing can make an arrest situation much worse, and juveniles, in particular, need all the help they can get. Don’t face the police and prosecutor alone – protect your teen’s rights by contacting a Georgia juvenile defense attorney as soon as you can.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a juvenile defense lawyer in Suwanee, Johns Creek, Cumming, Forsyth County, Gwinnett County, Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, or Dawson County, please call our office today. You may also schedule a consultation online.