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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27452
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My son and s girl friend had a fight she took out papers he

Customer Question

my son and his girl friend had a fight she took out papers for assaut he is only 17teen with no prier this is his first time in court .will he need a attorney she is going to drop charges on him what should be expecting on the out come
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


Once a criminal case has been reported to the authorities, the case does not belong to the complainant any more. It belongs to the prosecutor who can handle it any way that he or she sees fit. That means, even if your son’s girlfriend talks to the DA and tells him or her that she no longer wants to go forward with the charges, the prosecutor does not have to drop the case. He can continue to prosecute, and subpoena the girlfriend to come to court and testify against your son. If she fails to comply with a court order, she can be arrested.

So you and your son cannot count on this case being dropped. I don’t know what state you are located in, but in many states a 17 year old is considered to be an adult for purposes of a criminal prosecution. Even if this is handled in the juvenile system, however, it is a violent misdemeanor charge and it will have collateral consequences that could impact upon his future.

Yes. You should retain counsel for him.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this happen in Randleman n.c . It was just a small incident no blood or brusing her mother had her to take out papers on him .How much time in jail if he turns him self in now are will that be the right way to handle the problem.concern dad
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Has he actually been charged with a crime yet and/or served papers? Have the police contacted him and are looking for him?

In North Carolina, your son would be charged as an adult at 17 in adult court. He faces a violent misdemeanor charge which has a possible penalty of up to 120 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment. Typically, if the charges are not dropped a young offender on his first arrest with a charge like this and a complainant who has no serious injuries would be offered some form of probation along with anger management classes. The complainant would also likely get a protective order that would prevent any further contact between them.

With a lawyer, he may be able to come out with a more favorable disposition than that, even one which could keep the case from ending up as a conviction on his criminal record

If the police are actively looking for him, he should contact local counsel and let the lawyer arrange a voluntary surrender. If not, he should absolutely not go to the police and just say, "Here I am." He needs to have a lawyer with him if he's going to talk to the police about this incident or anything he says can be used against him and hurt his case.