Q: My 16 year old was charged with 3rd degree assault. No priors she is a good kid. What do I need to do??
She recently had a fight after school with a another girl. After the altercation the police interviewed several witnesses and said they will be charging. How can I protect her? What are her legal rights as a 16 year old.
A: Assault in the Third Degree is a felony offense. It is very serious and she needs an attorney. At this point, I assume that her case will be heard in juvenile court, but it is hard to know without more information. An attorney can help to protect her rights and to help minimize any consequences that she be might be facing for what occurred.
A: This is a serious felony offense. The best thing you can do for your daughter is help her retain an attorney. An attorney will be able to ensure her rights are protected and may even be able to keep this from resulting in a conviction.
A: Sixteen year olds have the Constitutional rights we are each born with, plus some additional rights as juveniles. However, all rights can be waived, given up, tossed carelessly away. And police will assist in that, if she lets them. The juvenile court should appoint a public defender after the case is charged. Or she can retain a private defense attorney (with financial help, of course.) Until then, she should at least avoid making any statements to police. None. Zero. Words should emit from her mouth. At all. Complete silence without exception. And she should avoid saying anything about it to anyone at school, online or anywhere else!
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