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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Unhappy Breaking & Entering/Larceny Charges

    What is the name of your state? Michigan

    I am looking for some help, I have a 16 year old who got into trouble, He is charged
    1 Charge Breaking & Entering a vehicle with damage to vehicle (this is a felony)

    1 charge of Breaking & Entering a vehicle to steal property
    less than $200.00 (misdemeanor)

    He has 3 charges of Larceny- less than $200.00 (misdemeanor).

    He goes in front of a referee on 2-11-08, his court papers say "the purpose of this hearing is to decide, at a pretrial, whether the petition will be adjudicated"

    Which I really does not know what that means.

    All this stuff he pretty much did do excpet for the first charge.

    His friend busted out a window of a car which this was not planned he did not know his friend was going to do this but he was right there and his friend yelled at him to grab the stuff on the seat and my son, not thinking did it. And they were caught.

    My son has never been in any kind of trouble before. We cannot afford to hire an attorney everyone I have called wants almost 1500.00 just for retainer and my husband has been laid off and we struggle just to get by, the court will not give us a court appointed attorney as I already tried that.

    I am most worried about this "felony" charge, also of this being on his record to where he must tell employers of this.

    I was told if I can get it on the "consent calendar" that would be best???

    I am wondering how can I pursue getting it on the consent calendar when we go in front of this referee, or even how many can I can any charges lessened?

    I need to know what I should be doing or asking or saying to these people.

    ANY help would be great, also I can be emailed direct at [email]bacardi4me@netzero.net[/email]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    On February 11, when your son has his hearing, it will be decided whether the case will be "adjudicated" or brought before a judge - when it is determined, in other words, whether there is probable cause that a crime was committed and your son committed it. Your son will have the chance, at that time, to tell the referee about the breaking of the car window and his role in the theft of the items in the car.

    A calendar is the court's list of cases. A "consent calendar" is where all of the charges against your son would be heard together and dealt with together, and it is generally a more informal process than with the general calendar of cases.

    With minors who commit felonies, one of the decisions that has to be made is which court should have jurisdiction in hearing the case. Since your son is a minor, he would normally be brought before a judge in the "family division" of the court, but with felonies, the case could be heard in a court with general criminal jurisdiction. Before jurisdiction would be waived, however, the seriousness of the offense, your son's prior juvenile record and/or prior delinquent behavior, and whether there were weapons or victims involved would all be considered. My feeling is that jurisdiction will not be waived, and your son will remain in the juvenile court system for both his misdemeanors and the felony charge.

    What could very well happen in your son's case, and what you should hope for and work towards, is that he will get "diversion" under the Juvenile Diversion Act. Diversion is decided based on the nature of the offense, the age of the perpetrator, the nature of the problem that led to the offense, the minor's character and conduct, the behavior of the minor in school and with his family and in group settings, and if there has been any prior offenses. A diversion agreement will be worked out between all parties - often involving paying back the victims for their losses, and community service hours, and generally fines and sometimes classes.

    If it is decided that your son is best served by diversion and a diversion agreement is made AND your son complies with all of the terms and conditions of the diversion agreement, the case will not be brought before a judge to be decided. There will be a record of his offenses, but this record will only be made available by order of the court and to law enforcement officials. Once your son turns 17, these records would be destroyed.

    I am not an attorney, and I strongly recommend you speak with one before the 11th - Michigan has free legal clinics and many fine law schools, where you can get assistance. Your local court may be able to give you a number to call for free legal assistance, as well. If you are near the Detroit area, you have a wealth of resources available.

    An attorney is only appointed by the court, by the way, when there is financial need AND if there is the possibility of jail time. Courts will often require that you pay the county back for the attorney's services, however.

    Wait for others to post, who may have additions and/or corrections to the information provided here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Thankyou for your reply,

    I did speak with one attorney on the phone and he is the one who told me the best thing would be to get it on the Consent Calendar.

    I have called numerous attorneys and cannot find one that does not want a huge retainer, and I cannot find any type of low cost legal aid in this area I live in, I am nowhere near Detroit. I am in St. Clair County. And the court was no help in giving me any advice in providing any info on low cost legal help.

    Another thing I just don't understand either is everything I have read says he has the right to an attorney and if he cannot afford one or the parents refuse to get him one the court will appoint him one.

    Well, since the court says I make to much money for a court appointed attorney I told them I cannot afford a retainer for a lawyer so then I "refuse" and they still don't have to give him one?

    Just becasue i work at low paying job for the state and my husband is getting unemployment we make to much they say, which is crazy.

    But as I stated he has never been in a trouble before.

    Anyone else who can offer any advice on the situation or what I should be saying when we go to court please post**************.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    There are certainly not as many resources available to you in St. Clair County as there are perhaps in Wayne County, but you should still be able to find some free legal assistance.

    I suggest you try findlegalhelp.org or, more specifically, [url]www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/pb.cfm?id=MI[/url]. These are American Bar Association websites. You can click on Michigan and then search for free legal help available in St. Clair County.

    Law firms will often have attorneys who do pro bono work, too (some firms require of their staff attorneys a certain number of pro bono hours per month). It may be worth it to call the larger firms in your area to check on this. You can also use the Find a Lawyer locater on FreeAdvice here, to your right.

    And wait for others to post.

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