How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27104
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
18321761
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Heres the situation my 22 year old step-daughter was

Customer Question

heres the situation my 22 year old step-daughter was arrested on satuatory rape charges which was consensual with a 14 year old boy. I read the law for Georgia and i fully understand there is no consensual consent for a minor. So that being said she has went and fired her court appointed attorney and hired a criminal lawyer who is charging her $10,000 to represent her with payment agreements but has to be paid in full before going to court is my understanding turns out court came earlier than expected for her to plea out he is telling her he is going to try his best to get this charge dropped to a misdemeanor and he is certain there is a good chance he can do that. Now she is about $6,000 short on paying him off court is in 2 weeks so my husband is considering emptying our saving account or charging the credit card up to keep her out of jail for the sake of her 2 small children. So the question i have is whats the chances of that happening especially since she confessed in statements to the police as did he and his parents are pushing this 100% to the max punishment. I feel its probably going to be money wasted if we choose to pay off the lawyer and at the end of the day we will be raising the grandchildren for a period of time anyways. Any input will be grateful and helpful in making this decision.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Are you online at this time?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

What is the state's offer on the case presently? Was your stepdaughter a teacher or an authority figure?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No she is neither a teacher or authority figure. The guys dad was dating her mom they all lived together at her moms house the time this happened. As far as i no it was child molestation charges which were dropped to satuatory rape and her first offer was 10 do 5, probation, classes and registered sex offender - which she refused and fired the appointed attorney i do believe.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the reply and sorry for the delay. I am typing a response to you now.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No worries im at work so im not on here constantly and i appreciate your time and knowledge very much.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Frankly, although it's good that your stepdaughter was not also some kind of authority figure, where her bargaining position would likely be compromised as a matter of social policy, I do not know why your stepdaughter's lawyer is confident that he can get her a misdemeanor offer. I don't see a basis for that kind of optimism on a plea bargain.

In Georgia this crime is worth a minimum of 10 years in jail up to a maximum of 20, and the DA's offer indicates that he's not sympathetic to your stepdaughter. An offer such as the one she got is not a good offer. It's saying, "I've got you and if you think you can do better, go to trial."

Unless her private lawyer is a long-time personal friend of the prosecutor who thinks he's owed a favor he could call in, this lawyer will have no better chance at a misdemeanor deal than her former public defender. Public defenders have massive caseloads and are highly experienced plea negotiators, as you would imagine.

I'm not saying she was better off with her public defender, nor am I saying that you shouldn't pay her lawyer's fee. I'm saying that the odds of her getting a non-incarceratory offer appear very low to me.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
say it comes down to the lawyer not going to court with her what could be expected when she goes to court without a lawyer?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

She could let the judge know that she is financially unable to keep up the payments to her private attorney and ask the judge to appoint her another public defender.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Related Criminal Law Questions