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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 89140
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My son was recently charged with truancy for missing to many

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My son was recently charged with truancy for missing to many days of school. He has ADHD and a chronic migraine condition that is medically documented and been provided to the school. Upon going to court I agreed to provide documentation of his medical conditions that explain his missed school (For the record he missed more than twice as many days of school unexcused last year and no truancy charges were filed) the judge seemed to be agreeable to letting that be the end of things until the prosecutor then brought out his school records and turned things around bringing up all my sons behavioral problems that are a constantly struggle due to his ADHD and he ended up being sentenced to 2 years probation with bi-weekly visits and drug screens (My son is 12 and does not use drugs other than his prescriptions for his ADHD and Migraines). Furthermore my son's attorney the court assigned agreed with the prosecutor. My question is do I have any legal recourse to reverse this prosecution? I can't help but feel that my son wasn't represented properly as they charged him with truancy and then once in court despite his documented medical conditions that explain his truancy they turned around and brought up behavioral problems and sentenced him as if he's a criminal.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. Note: there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your son's situation. Can you please tell me: what date was the original decision by the Judge?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I Just came from the courthouse so the case and decision was today April 9th, 2013

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.

Yes, you have a chance at an appeal with the interlocutory court, i.e. the COURT OF APPEALS.

When you file an appeal you are asking the Court of Appeals to examine what happened in your trial court and make sure that his rights were not violated, and the decision was not based on an error of law and/or fact.

You can see more about the appeals process
here (it focuses on appeals overall, not just appeals from juvenile justice court), and the website for the appellate court is here.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. An attorney is recommended. If finances are an issue, I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...

http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/directory/georgia.html

…and another list:

http://www.lawhelp.org

Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:

http://www.hg.org/law-schools-georgia.asp

Hopefully, the appeal may reduce/void out the decision and have the matter reheard.

Good luck.

Surely, you prefer that I tell the truth rather than what you wish to hear. Because it reflects very poorly on me unless you press one of the top three faces, keep this in mind when rating my and please do not punish me for being honest. I understand that this may not be easy to hear, and I empathize.

IMPORTANT: Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces before submitting the rating, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating. My ultimate goal is your complete satisfaction.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'm of course happy to know that I have an avenue of appeal. Finances however are an issue as I am currently unemployed having lost my job due to missing to much work caring for my son given his medical problems so before I seek out a lawyer and possibly incur costs that at this point would cause me more financial issue's I'd like to know from a legal perspective given the information I supplied does it sound like the appeal would have any chance? I'm not necessarily asking if the attorney they assigned didn't represent him properly, but Given the charge of truancy does the court have a right to bring up his behavior problems and sentence him based off his behavior rather than truancy especially when I have medical documentation that explains his truancy (meaning his truancy has absolutely nothing to do with his behavior while at school and is entirely due to his chronic migraine condition. Also while I'm here maybe I should mention that as his parent they also chose to sentence me to parenting classes due to his behavior and my lack of medical insurance insurance that I only recently lost due to my loss of employment (which of course outrages me that they are calling my parenting skills into question when I do everything for my son including sacrificing my job/career to take care of him when he's ill.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
My apologies for the wait.

I'd like to know from a legal perspective given the information I supplied does it sound like the appeal would have any chance?

YES, arguably, if you can show that his condition is the result for the overwhelming number of absences, which it seems to me that you can.

but Given the charge of truancy does the court have a right to bring up his behavior problems and sentence him based off his behavior rather than truancy especially when I have medical documentation that explains his truancy (meaning his truancy has absolutely nothing to do with his behavior while at school and is entirely due to his chronic migraine condition.

Yes - the prosecutor may use whatever argument they wish here. Rather, they can, until/unless you object. An attorney would have objected to this argument as invalid, but it was not objected to, so the argument was made.

Also while I'm here maybe I should mention that as his parent they also chose to sentence me to parenting classes due to his behavior and my lack of medical insurance insurance that I only recently lost due to my loss of employment (which of course outrages me that they are calling my parenting skills into question when I do everything for my son including sacrificing my job/career to take care of him when he's ill.

That is unfortunate, but, it is is within the discretion of the Court to do so. However, if you succeed in overturning the case, you may also succeed in overturning the order for your parenting classes as well.

Again, surely you prefer that I be honest in my answer – please remember that rating negatively due to receiving bad news still hurts the expert – it is simply the way that the system is set up. Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 89140
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Ely
Ely
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