I am sorry. But as you describe what happened in your post, the acts were TOTALLY inappropriate.
I will try to explain the process.
1. If your son was charged with the initial 4 counts of cultivation, he would have been arrested or turn himself in. He would have been "booked" and then brought before the judge for an arraignment. The judge would have read him each of the counts, and then told him the maximum penalties for each count. After that, the judge would have told him his constitutional rights, including his right to an attorney if he could not afford an attorney. Then the judge would have set a bond. A bond is set to ensure a person will come back to court. Many things are taken into account when a judge sets a bond, including but not limited to, any criminal
history, age, work history, education, ties to the community, housing, danger to the community, and severity of the offense. Then, taking all of those items, and any other relevant items, the judge would have set a bond. From your post, it sounds like the judge set a "cash/surety" bond. That means that your son would have to come up with $70,000.00 or hire a bondsman to post the bond. However, your son would have to come up with $70,000 worth of assets to sign over to the bondsman. If your son didn't appear for court, the bondsman would keep the assets. Further, at the arraignment, your son would have entered a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. Most likely, he entered a not guilty plea.
2. If 2 more charges were added, he may have been arrested on those 2 charges and booked. That could have happened in the courtroom. After booking, he would have been arraigned on the additional charges and the judge would have set a bond on the 2 new charges. The process would be the same as in #1.
3. After the arraignment, if the case does not settle or get dismissed, the judge holds a preliminary hearing. At this hearing, the judge will decide if there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to make the defendant have to appear for a trial
. If the judge decides that there is enough evidence, the prosecutor will file a document called “the Information.” Then, the defendant will be arraigned, a second time, on the Information. At that time, the defendant will enter a plea and proceed to trial. Before the trial:
- The prosecution and the defense exchange information. This is called “discovery.” Defendants may be limited in what information they are able to see, but their lawyers usually are not. This is because lawyers are required by law to protect the identity of witnesses while still preparing a defense so that the witnesses are not put in jeopardy. This is why it is so important that a defendant charged with a misdemeanor or felony be represented by a lawyer.
- Either side can file pretrial motions, including motions to set aside (cancel) the complaint, to dismiss the case, or to prevent evidence from being used at trial.
- The defendant can change his or her plea to guilty or no contest.
- The judge and lawyers from both sides may talk about how the case can be resolved without going to trial.
At all stages of the criminal proceedings, your son is PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.
4. Defendants in criminal cases (other than infractions) have the right to have a jury of their peers decide their guilt or innocence. Therefore, before trial, defendants need to decide whether to have a jury trial (where the jury decides if the defendant is guilty or not) or a court trial (where the judge decides). Usually, defendants choose to have a jury trial because they want a jury of their peers to hear the evidence and decide their guilt. But sometimes there may be circumstances where a defense attorney will recommend a court trial without a jury.
Again, everyone accused of a crime is legally presumed to be innocent until they are convicted, either by being proved guilty at a trial or by pleading guilty before trial. This means that it is the prosecutor who has to convince the jury that the defendant is guilty and must provide proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant has the right to remain silent and that silence cannot be used against him or her.
So, based upon your post, there were things that went wrong. Your son's attorney will not call you back because the lawyer ONLY represents your son. There is an attorney/client confidentiality. The lawyer can only speak to you if your son gives him permission.
However, you may wish to go to the court in which the proceedings occurred and ask to look at the court file. Everything that happened in court will be included in the file. You will be able to tell if your son was arraigned, given his rights, including the right to an attorney, etc. Moreover, you can order a transcript of the proceedings in which all of the things in your post occurred. However, that can be quite costly because the court reporter must transcribe the proceedings and can charge per typed (transcribed) page.
If it is possible, your best bet (and least expensive) is to visit with your son if he is in jail. You can ask if all of the things in this answer occurred. If you were in the courtroom, you may have missed something that was said/done. That is easy to do, because things move very quickly at the arraignment stage.
I hope you find this information useful.
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***Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice or assistance of an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you!