Thank you, P.
First of all, please understand that regardless of what happens (if she pleads guilty, or is found guilty, or is found not guilty, or the charges are dropped, etc), this record will be sealed
at her turning eighteen, meaning no employer would ever see it. In addition, the record may be expunged under 18 Pa. Consol. Stat. Ann. § 9123
. The difference between "seal" and "expungement" is that under (automatic) seal, the authorities could still see it. If it is expunged (at request), it is destroyed for all, in theory.What kind of ramifications could this guilty plea have for her in the future and what alternatives do we have?
At her age, and considering that this is her first offense, and not even a serious one at that and highly questionable as to why she was charged to begin with, it is overwhelmingly likely
that she would be offered deferred adjudication
by the prosecutor. Deferred adjudication is a "second chance," and it is an agreement that she enters into - if she does a few classes, some community hours, and stays out of trouble for a probationary period, then there will be no trial, the criminal charge against the juvenile
will be withdrawn, and there will be no criminal record of a conviction. The charge itself may be expunged (as explained above) and it would be sealed automatically at 18 anyhow.
Of course, this is not a "given," but very likely, the prosecutor will make this offer. Still, an attorney is recommended to make the best possible deal. May I recommend the PA Bar referral program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
Finally, her plea entered should be NOT GUILTY, so as to begin the negotiation. If she pleads "guilty," the case is over before it begins.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.IMPORTANT
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