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: 27705
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

I have a question about a contributing to the delinquency of

Customer Question

I have a question about a contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge. What is the best way to defend yourself against it?
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: VA
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Have you been charged yet and appeared in court? Have you retained a lawyer for your case? What, specifically, is the state alleging against you?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have not appeared in court yet. My first court date is 18 August. They are pushing for a class 1 misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. I have not retained a lawyer yet. I just got it yesterday.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What do you think?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Criminal defenses are based on the facts of the case. So without knowing what the state is alleging on the court papers, without seeing the discovery, making an investigation, interviewing potential witnesses and conferring with the prosecutor, it's not possible for me to think anything at all.

You need to go to court on the 18th, with a lawyer if you can afford one. If not, you need to plead not guilty and ask the judge to appoint you a public defender. Once a lawyer looks at the court papers, confers with the prosecutor, and gets your version of the incident, he or she will be able to start thinking in terms of how best to proceed in the case, because he will have a sense of the strength or weaknesses of the state's case.

You only really have two choices, and that's to either fight the charges or have your lawyer negotiate a plea agreement. There are up and down sides to either alternative, but they require knowing what you're fighting against.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Am I able to go to the prosecutor and see what they have against me?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

No. You're not. Most prosecutors won't even speak to an unrepresented defendant.

At your arraignment -- the first court date -- the charges against you will be read out loud and put on the court record of the case, along with a bare bones recitation of what you're alleged to have done. So on your first court appearance, you will get some idea of what they have on you. As for the rest, the prosecutor will turn the information over to your attorney as part of the discovery process once the case is underway.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

No. You're not. Most prosecutors won't even speak to an unrepresented defendant.

At your arraignment -- the first court date -- the charges against you will be read out loud and put on the court record of the case, along with a bare bones recitation of what you're alleged to have done. So on your first court appearance, you will get some idea of what they have on you. As for the rest, the prosecutor will turn the information over to your attorney as part of the discovery process once the case is underway, and you're entitled to a copy of anything that he gets.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 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.