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   I need some major help. My 15yr. old son, who had been staying with his mother, was caught TWICE in a month on a DUI. My landlord handed me my court papers this past Friday, and court is this Wed. WTF? 

  They're trying to tell me at the juvenile courthouse that I can't defend my son. That I HAVE to have a lawyer.   But I don't want one.  I don't want to settle, I want him free. Granted , I know he messed up. BUT IF HE ISN'T OLD ENOUGH TO VOTE OR GET A LICENSE BECAUSE HE'S A MINOR AND MAKES BAD DECISIONS, THEN HOW CAN THEY PUNISH HIM ,,,    FOR A BAD DECISION?

  It seems like it should be thrown out easily,  but I know how completely crooked the system is.  I know if they take my son in,,,  he'll be gone for good.  Just like they did my cousin. He had to keep protecting himself and thirty years later, he's now 40,,,,,fk, and my son LOVES to fight. AND IT'S BECAUSE OF THE DAMN SYSTEM HE'S THIS WAY. 

  Anyway,

  They didn't read Miranda rights,,, they did breathalyzer but didn't wait the required 15 minutes watching that he didn't belch. Cop says he had to go 60 to catch him, although he has him down at 60???  I SIGNED THE PAPERS SUI JURIS,,, does that help???

 Look, since the two tickets, my son was in a fatal car accident. HE WASNT DRIVING.  But his best friend was the 15yr old driver and died. My son was rushed to the hospital to remove his spleen and then rushed by life flight to UCDavis for heart surgery.  He has a hole in his heart now and has to be very careful.  He'll never make it out.   I can't believe they would even consider 4 yrs on a minor who has never been in trouble. 

PLEASE HELP   I want to abate the process, but they won't let me do anything.

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You need to find a lawyer. Are they charging him as an adult? Does he live with mom? If your income isn't great you may be able to use a public defender, but I would study up on your rules of the court so you can be informed if the PD suggests a plea that is unacceptable. You could help dictate the direction you want him to take it. So sorry, it is hard getting through those teen years.

I was going to say if he lives with mom, maybe you could work out an arrangement where you have primary custody. I think you would need a good plan to show the court on how you would be able to keep him in line.

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You do not want to hear this judging by the tone of your post but this is NOT the first time he has been in trouble but it appears that it is the first time(s) he has been caught.  How can they punish him?  He was drinking and driving that is how.  You would think being in a fatal car accident where he lost a good friend would have scared him into oblivion but no he got behind the wheel impaired not once but at least twice.  

 

How can they punish him?  He broke the law. He isn't old enough to drink and it is illegal for anyone to drink and drive.  This is very serious and no you cannot defend him.  Clearly you are acting with the emotions of a parent and not a clear legal rational mind.  A bad decision is when you get that reverse mohawk haircut and dye it magenta.  Breaking the law is a whole new category and a majorly different affair.  If he is old enough to drive he is old enough to understand legal drinking age, DUI, minor in possession etc.

 

They didn't read Miranda rights,,, they did breathalyzer but didn't wait the required 15 minutes watching that he didn't belch. Cop says he had to go 60 to catch him, although he has him down at 60???  I SIGNED THE PAPERS SUI JURIS,,, does that help???

 

Forget what you see on TV and in the movies.  They are not required to read him his Miranda rights unless the state intends to introduce what he said at trial.  If they have enough other evidence they can pursue it regardless of his statements.  Besides even if they had (and if you were not there you do not know that they didn't) while someone in custody has the right to remain silent the majority lack the ability and yammer on incessantly.

 

 It seems like it should be thrown out easily,  but I know how completely crooked the system is.  

 

Emotional biased parents and accused ALWAYS say that and it isn't that easy.  You had seriously better get him a lawyer or apply for a public defender ASAP.  Lucky for you that "crooked" system allows you to get representation for free when facing jail unlike other countries which just send you there.

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I feel empathy for you as the parent. Did he get any counseling for grief when his friend died??  He's very young and may be using alcohol as a way to forget all that.  Yes, children make mistakes, but we as parents must keep a clear head and focus on how to help in a positive way.  As it has been said get him counsel, and try to get him a counselor to talk to who is unbiased.

 

Sometimes mistakes made turn out for the better in a lesson learned.  Best wishes for you and your son.

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It's a damn good thing you aren't allowed to defend your son. Your attitude would do him absolutely no favors in the eyes of the juvenile court system. You're clearly an enabler and his attitudes about "the system" and his his safety and that of society seem to be taken directly from your playbook. The court will see you coming a mile away. It's a hard pill to swallow, but getting him away from you will be what he needs right now for his own safety. He needs to be accountable for his actions and to see that there are consequences in the real world, and you aren't letting that happen by jumping in and trying to rescue him every time he gets into legal trouble.

If you get nothing out of this (and you're clearly in denial; perhaps you have a substance abuse problem that he inherited from you?), juvenile court systems are engineered to provide him the tools he needs to start acting like a responsible human being. Hopefully he'll take advantage of that and then you can learn from his example.

Sorry for the harsh reality, but the temporary separation from you really is in his best interest. I know you can't see that now but hopefully you will one day. Don't worry about him. If he really does 4 years, they'll hopefully be the most developmental 4 years of his life and he'll come out on the other side a model citizen and you'll be proud to be his dad.

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First off, I would scale back the attitude and get an attorney, either public defender or a private attorney. This is criminal court, not civil court. Anything we talk about here has no bearing in criminal court.

The odds of getting your son out scott free without a charge are probably out the window at this point. Underage drinking is a crime and DUI is a crime. A decent lawyer might get your son 1 - 2 years probation without serving any time in jail/prison so would be worth that. However, if you go in with the attitude you presented here and do not get a lawyer, odds are, your son will be getting the full 4 years.

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For what it's worth, four years for a DUI is a sentence that comes only after a long rap sheet and way too many "chances." Maybe I've been listening to too much Dennis Prager lately, but I see that "good" and "evil" have been painted with too many shades of gray. 

 

Let me congratulate our California members for being on the brink of a safer community.

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Obviously you won't get helped much here (unless you are looking for a Life Coach).

 

Get a DUI attorney. In the meantime anything you can do to appear to the judge that you are getting a handle on the problem can help. If you can show you are getting help for your son such as; AAA meetings, Grief counseling, Youth mentoring program, or something similar; it may show the judge you are attempting to fix any problems, and that he needs (and is receiving) help.  I would do as much as you can BEFORE he appears in front of the judge to show you are working with him.He is a troubled youth who has been traumatized and needs help, not incarceration.

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@soreankles

 

I'm very sorry that you're experiencing such difficult circumstances.  As a parent, I understand your love and concern for your son.  However, this information on this site is of a civil nature geared toward consumer credit not criminal matters.

 

That being said, I agree with those who have suggested that your attitude/opinions will not help your son.   Whether or not his actions are a product of "the system" is for a psychologist and the court to determine.   You are not impartial.  Depending upon details, it could determined that you are an enabler.   We parents want to protect and support our children  but sometimes that protection and support can go too far.  I'm not implying that is what has happened in your case because I don't know.  There is no way that we could know and understand the circumstances surrounding your son's actions. 

 

Absent that knowledge, anyone who suggests that your son needs one thing vs. another is overstepping their bounds.

 

What is definitely necessary is that you retain the services of a competent, experienced attorney.  Let him/her represent your son in court.  If your testimony is necessary, the attorney would guide you.

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