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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23553
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am facing a situation. When I was the age 12-13 I was

Customer Question

I am facing a situation. When I was the age 12-13 I was living with a girl in foster care she was 6-7 years old like 9-10 years later she filed rape charges against me. I spoke to a detective a year ago told him I didn't do it and like a couple weeks ago I talked to a state trooper I kept tellimg him I didn't do it he kept pushing me until I admitted to the crime I didn't do I talked to several lawyers and public defenders lawyers wants a couple thousand and public defenders won't do anything until I get paper work what do I do
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.
In what US state did this supposedly take place? Have you actually been charged yet with rape? Have you been arrested?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Took place in pa. I wasn't arrested I was told it would go through a juninille petition and I would have the court date the chargers are written up but just gotta wait for the court date which I haven't heard anything about
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for the prompt reply. If you can't afford a lawyer, you'll have to wait until the petition is filed and you are contacted about a court date. Then you'd go in, plead not guilty and ask the court for a public defender. Because you haven't been charged yet, apart from looking for a private lawyer, there is nothing you can actually do.

There is one thing that you SHOULDN'T do, however, and that's to talk to anyone about this incident, except for the lawyer who is going to represent you on your case. Did the police bother to give you Miranda warnings? When you're the suspect of a crime, you have no obligation to talk to the police at all, because anything you say can be used against you, even what you think is helpful.

When the police come knocking to ask you questions it's generally because they don't have enough evidence to arrest you. Your admission to the state trooper is what allowed you to be charged and you didn't have to agree to talk to the police in the first place.

You will get the opportunity to challenge the statement as having been coerced from you when you fight the case, but for now, no further conversations with the authorities. If they contact you again, tell them that you have already said to them all you are going to say and that from here you want to wait for your lawyer.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I was basically told that the trooper wanted to go over paper work when I went down there he said we were just here to talk I wasn't aware that I was going to be investigated I wa told I could leave at anytime but I wasn't sure he would let me due to the fact he kept saying that there was more to the story and he said there was a penetration test done and after I was basically all nervous and what not I basically gave him what he wanted to hear he then called the da to see if they wanted to arrest me they said no so basically now I have to wait and see what happens I have never been in trouble like this so I don't really know what to expect
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

Right. They never say, "Come on in. We want to get you to confess so that we can arrest you." And they don't have to tell you what they really want. You could have said no, and you didn't. If you knew that you weren't really free to leave, then he should have given you Miranda warnings. Again, however, you'll be able to challenge this when the case comes to court.

Because you were a juvenile at the time of this alleged incident, juvenile court has jurisdiction. The DA will petition to move it to adult court. Your first court date will be your arraignment, where the charges are read into the court record and you are asked how you plead. You must tell the judge you plead not guilty and you can then ask the judge for a free lawyer. He will adjourn the case so that you can come back and meet your lawyer.

From there, you will have two broad choices. One would be to take a plea offer from the prosecutor and the other would be to fight the case, all the way to trial if necessary. Your lawyer will be able to see discovery material, such as the police reports, and he will go over the strengths and weaknsses of the case, and you'll decide how you want to go forward.

Even though the charges are serious, they happened a long time ago, and the police never placed you into custody. So as long as you make your court appearances, you should be able to fight the case while at liberty.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have been paranoid about this ever since this was brought about. I know I didn't do the crime but I was dumb to admit to it I really just hope like this doesn't really go out of hand
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

It happened a very long time ago, and that's in your favor. Also it's a weak case,which is why they needed a confession from you to begin with. The confession hurts, but there should be plenty for a defense lawyer to work with.

I can't tell you not to be scared. You should be scared. But you'll start feeling better once you see what facts they are alleging and when you have your lawyer.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I been paranoid for awhile now and like I know this is a serious matter I know that I need a lawyer but lawyers wanted a couple thousand and a public defender said it's hard to over turn a false confession
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

I agree. Most suppression hearings are lost. But you get a lot of useful discovery out of those hearings which helps at trial. And it doesn't mean a jury will buy the confession. It also doesn't mean you'll have to go to trial at all. All of this you won't know until you have a lawyer and start seeing the discovery.

If you didn't do anything wrong, you could tell your lawyer (NOT THE POLICE) that you want to take a polygraph test. As long as your defense lawyer arranges it privately, it can't hurt you. If it shows you never did anything, your lawyer can give that information to the prosecutor and try to get the case dismissed. If it shows you did it, or it's inconclusive, nobody else ever has to hear of it because it's protected by the lawyer/client privilege.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If I were to be charged as a minor and not an adult what would that be like
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

On a forcible rape, you will be tried as an adult.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What's the point of the juvenile petition if I was being tired as an adult
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

To move it to adult court because you were under 15 at the time. Otherwise a rape automatically is tried as an adult crime.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Okay. What are the chances to keep it out of an adult court
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

Your lawyer can try to get it recertified as a juvenile offense. Since I know nothing about the facts of this case, I cannot tell you what is likely to happen. All will become clear once you get to court. I'm not ducking your questions. I just have no information on the case and I don't find it productive to guess.

I wish you good luck going forward with this.