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M. Jacob Mihalov
M. Jacob Mihalov, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 443
Experience:  Solo Practitioner at Mihalov Law
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My 17yr old son has an upcoming Advisory Hearing in two

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my 17yr old son has an upcoming Advisory Hearing in two weeks, for having possessed less than 1 ounce of marijuana and a pipe. He is being charged with Felony-6 (2 counts of possession of <2lbs of weed and 1 pipe.) Never been in trouble, 1st offense, great attitude, 3.8 GPA, takes AP classes, but did something stupid. How can you help us get out of this pickle?
JA: Were these felony or misdemeanor weed charges? Do they have any upcoming court dates?
Customer: Scheduled "Indigency Determination & Advisory Hearing" set for Feb 25th at the Maricopa Juvenile Court Center in Phoenix AZ 85009. both are Felony class-6.
JA: Have they talked to an AZ lawyer about this matter?
Customer: We've contacted a few lawyers, but can't afford the $5,000 - $10,000 + fees they've been quoting.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Please stand by.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Y. Pierre(###) ###-####
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Is there anything else I can provide that may be helpful?

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I'm a Legal Expert, I may be able to help you with this question.

OK, from what you've told me, it appears that there has already been a consultation, and you've arrived at the Advisory hearing portion of the Juvenile process. Has your child had an attorney appointed? If not, he is entitled to have an attorney appointed to defend him at his upcoming hearings.

As for the Advisory hearing, here is what is going to go down.

Two decisions will be made at the Advisory Hearing:

  • How the juvenile wishes to proceed
  • If the juvenile will be released or detained pending the next court hearing

Steps of the Advisory Hearing

  1. At the beginning of the hearing the court will have all the parties state their name.
  2. The judge will then ask if the biographical information is correct and if the juvenile waives a formal reading of the charges and a summary of constitutional rights and dispositional (sentencing) alternatives by the judge. (The attorney will answer the questions for the juvenile.)
  3. The attorney will then tell the judge if the juvenile is denying and setting the matter for adjudication (trial) or admitting.
    • If the juvenile admits to some or all of the charges the judge will go over all the juvenile’s constitutional rights and sentencing options.
    • If after hearing their rights and sentencing options the juvenile wishes to admit, the juvenile will have to tell the judge what he/she did to be guilty of the charge.
  4. Next, the judge will make a decision on whether to release the juvenile to live with his parents or detain him/her until the next court hearing.
  5. The court will consider the juvenile’s recent behavior when deciding whether to detain him/her or release them to their parent.
    • If the juvenile has been following curfew, attending school, not using drugs or alcohol and being law abiding, the youth is more likely to be released to his/ her parents.
    • However, if the youth is not coming home, using drugs, not attending school and committing crimes in the community or home the child will likely be detained.
  6. The judge will listen to what the county attorney, parents, juvenile and juvenile’s attorney have to say before deciding whether to detain the child. The judge will then set the next hearing, either an adjudication (trial) or disposition (sentencing).

If the court goes to an adjudication, it is much like a normal trial where a judge listens to the evidence and determines if the party is "guilty" or in this case if the party should be "adjudged delinquent"

If there is a disposition, the judge will simply sign off of an agreement set forth previously.

In my experience, Juvenile parole officers and workers with the court will come to the Juvenile with some sort of "consent decree," which is just an agreement between the parties that the juvenile will do some things before they can be taken off probation. Usually it's some classes or some community service. Given what you've told me about your son, it appears he is a good kid and I see no reason why juvenile probation will not work with him.

Hope that helped, please take the time to rate my answer out of five stars at the top of the page. It's no additional cost to you and that's how we get credit for our answers. Thanks!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Would it help if we sign him up for the required class and/or community service ahead of time? if yes, what class or Community services would you suggest?

Sure, that might help. But honestly, it seems like you have a good kid on your hands that made a pretty typical mistake for a 17 year old. I would be VERY surprised if they want anything more from him than some community service. I COMPLETELY understand being worried, but I honestly think he's going to be OK. Plus, juvenile "adjudications" don't carry over into adulthood, so he's going to have a clean record one way or another.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'm worried for two reasons:
1. Alex turns 18 in three months, I hear if this case isn't closed out by then, I automatically gets transferred into the adult court system.
2. Call me paranoid, but the general concensus that many judges are determined to place young black males into the criminal system is no joke. I'd hate for him to not get a fair shake.

That's understandable. But what you can do is make sure that you agree with the juvenile probation officers and their recommendation to ensure that this case gets disposed of before his 18th birthday. Can't speak to the second part, I genuinely hope that doesn't affect anything.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have a scheduled parent/teacher conference to attend at 13:30. Be back shortly.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I hear you Sir. I'd still feel better having a lawyer accompany us to the proceedings; does your office offer this assistance. Better yet, is there a process in place or anyone I should contact to maybe arrive at some agreement that would preclude us having to appear before a judge?

So my office doesn't offer any sort of direct representation through this forum. I would definitely suggest the local bar association. They may have a pro bono or reduced cost attorney they can recommend. And you may be able to contact the Juvenile Probation officer that filed these charges directly and see if there is an agreement he or she would be willing to propose.

M. Jacob Mihalov and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you, I'll look into that in the morning. Have a pleasant evening.