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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23543
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My son is 16 years old being charged with a murder he did

Customer Question

my son is 16 years old being charged with a murder he did not commit
but was with the boy that did kill the white boy
these are two white boys who knew each other my son did not know this boy
My son is 16 years old mixed black and Hawaiian
They are charging my son with same crime the shooter is being charged with
I need help National attention!!!!!!!! Please help
My son is a good kid at the wrong place wrong time
Feels like if my son was not black he would not be charged in this crime
Sincerely ******* *****
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
This is a high profile murder case out of Salono County California my son is innocent and is a Black youth his father was murdered in 4/2007 in same county unsolved cold case same lead Detective ****** ****** ***** and now my son ****** ****** ***** ** I need help from the Black community I need help from anyone who is ready to hear the truth PLEASE HELP Thank you ******* *****
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
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Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Hello,

Unfortunately, all the police need to charge someone with a crime is probable cause -- a reasonable belief that your son may have been involved in criminal activity. It is reasonable -- though not necessarily true -- for the police to believe that if your son was with someone who committed a murder, he was part of the criminal enterprise. This, and the felony murder law of your state would allow the police to charge your son as a co-defendant even if he was not the person who had the gun or who actually committed the act.

He may have just been at the wrong place at the wrong time. In order to convict your son, the state has to prove its case against him beyond a reasonable doubt, and during the course of the case, your son's lawyer would be entitled to a hearing to challenge the basis for the stop, the arrest of your son, and the possible bias of the detective. But at this juncture, the state is entitled to try to prove the case against your son. That means he needs legal assistance.

Some public defenders are excellent attorneys. As would apply to any other group of lawyers, public or private, some are not so good and most are at least average. All public defenders have substantial experience, because criminal law is all they do for a living and they have heavy caseloads. Hopefully. he has one of the good ones. For additional support, you can contact your local branch of the NAACP and also contact the American Civil Liberties Union. They also have branches all over the country. Both organizations advocate on behalf of civil rights and may be able to direct you to a local criminal and civil rights lawyer who does pro bono work, and see to it that your son's rights are being honored while he is in custody.

Down the road, if it is found that his arrest was, in fact, motivated only by his race and that his arrest was unlawful, he would be able to bring a civil right suit against the police. Right now, however, the matter hasn't been litigated. And that's the first step to determining his innocence.