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Prosecution in multiple counties/states, questions

Discussion in 'Juvenile Crime, Law & Court' started by InsideSpark, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. InsideSpark

    InsideSpark Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I am not seeking help as to how to get my son out of trouble but more so questioning what may happen to him with his current circumstances. I understand that in some states minors can not commit offenses, but there must be a division between offenses and actual crimes ?

    On a recent Tuesday evening at appx 7pm my 14 year old son, who lives in Virginia ( I am the non custodial parent who lives in another state) was questioned by local authorities as to his involvement with possession of a stolen cell phone, this was his 3rd police report for being in possession of reported stolen cell phones. He spoke to the officer, shook his hand, turned and ran off. He was not considered to be in or a danger, missing person or a runaway as he could have simply been 2 houses down, however a runaway report was prepared. Around 3am Wednesday morning authorities were reported of a disabled vehicle on the side of i-95 in College Park, Maryland and after running the plates and discovering the vehicle was reported as stolen from a parking lot several hours before, my son was discovered in the drivers eat of the vehicle , asleep. He was taken to the local State Police Barracks and released into the custody of his parent, his release papers stated he was going to be charged with Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and Criminal Theft over 25k, less than 100k. The vehicle was stolen in the Fredericksburg VA area, so the child drove 60 miles on the Beltway in the middle of the night in the rain before he ran out of gas.

    The next morning his parent and step parent picked him up and while driving back to Va stopped at a gas station to use the restroom and get some food, and the child went inside with the parents. While they were using the restroom he bolted again, the police were notified and an initial search began, this was appx 11am on Wednesday morning. He was picked up by the local authorities after he broke into a repair shop, stole a car, crashed it into another vehicle and fled the scene. He is being charged with Grand Larceny, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Hit and Run, Fleeing the scene of an accident, Operating a Vehicle without a license and other charges. He was remanded to a local Juvenile Detention Center for holding where he was denied release in a pre-trial hearing.

    The other parent and I are terrified for the safety of our son as well as the general population, and his actions are premeditated and habitual as he has actually been charged as a runaway 2 years prior and attempted to steal a vehicle at that time as well. I had mistakenly thought that the 2 different Va county's would deal with their varying charges together but I now understand he will have trial in December for the most recent charges, then also in another county for pending charges, and then in Maryland for his charges there. I am gravely concerned that even with everything he will be issued a slap on the wrist, a tracking bracelet, and be sent back out to continue to reign terror and fear over his family as well as unsuspecting victims of the public, it is by pure happenstance that no one was injured or killed, but we're still looking at the theft of 2 vehicles, the destruction of 3, within HOURS of each other.

    I guess im asking what the chances are that this child may finally receive the help that he needs ? And what, if anything, can I do ? I am under the impression that basically the parents wont be involved or consulted and I do not want to testify against the child exactly, but I do wish to impart my concerns as well. I realize that minors aren't "charged" so much as considered "delinquent" in some states/cases, hence my question/concern.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    There is no way that your son is getting "out of trouble." He is almost guaranteed to spend some time in a juvenile facility, maybe a few years, maybe until he's 18. When he gets out his juvenile records will be sealed and he'll have a choice to either go straight or continue to a life of crime.

    Nothing you do will change the outcome and you'll only break your heart if you even try. I've been there. I suggest you just back off and let everything just play out. It's a hard thing to do but it's the best thing to do.

    The other parent should do that, too.
     
  3. InsideSpark

    InsideSpark Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That is the point we are both reaching, i have been going back and forth about flying out for the trial/s, contacting the States Attorney, anyone who will listen but ultimately I feel like i am treading water and even the strongest swimmers will be subject to going under on occasion even if only briefly so perhaps it's best to focus on myself not drowning.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    He will likely spend some time in custody. No telling how long.
    The state will try as much as possible to put the burden of correcting the problem on the parents, but will help in some ways.
    You say you want to get him the help the needs... It is the responsibility of his parents to do that, by whatever means.
    You might look into enrolling him in counseling or even military school to try to get through to him.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Of course you can be involved, and from what I've read you were involved in his latest caper.

    You spoke with the police and went to bring the lad back home.

    I suggest you do two things:

    Talk to the prosecutor without the other parent present.
    Ask the prosecutor what is the likely outcome, and advise him/her that your child needs help.
    Ask if the state will have the child evaluated by a child psychiatrist.
    Advise him/her that you will pay for it, if the state can't/won't do it.
    Once the psychiatrist has evaluated the child everyone will have a better idea of just how to help the child.

    You can also speak with the child's lawyer.
    Apprise him/her about your discussion with the prosecutor.
    He or she can petition the court to have the child evaluated by a child psychiatrist.
    Again, once the physician has done his/her examination, everyone will know how to proceed.

    the formal name for what you're inquiring about is known as a CHINS petition.

    CHINS - Child In Need of Services

    Why children do the kinds of things your child apparently is doing is varied.

    I suggest you wait for answers from thos etrained to evaluate and help kids.

    The SECOND suggestion is to speak with a family law attorney in your state.

    It might be time for you to consider seeking primary custody of the child.

    There might be awful things going on in the home where the child lives, so awful the child won't speak of them.

    You at least need to explore such a horrible possibility.

    You're thinking of saving a child, your child, from a life of crime and pain.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
     
  6. InsideSpark

    InsideSpark Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I did speak to the police, in multiple jurisdictions however i am a non custodial parent and 2000 miles away so I did not pick him up.

    To add some more backstory the child has been receiving therapies and counseling for years, he has never received an official diagnosis and was placed into a state care facility 2 years ago for the same behaviors (although he didn't actually steal a car then but he did attempt), so this has been ongoing and without any real or actual consequences as far as the law goes. He tried to run away from the Childrens Facility repeatedly, he was charged with assault repeatedly, he's been charged prior as a runaway and has been on probation. His main problem is that he just wants to play video games, and they are not allowed for a lot of very good reasons at the other parents house so he has stolen cell phones repeatedly to download and play Minecraft, and of course to watch Porn.

    I had primary custody of the child and a petition was drawn from the other parent demanding custody. To make a long story short there we are now on good terms and have been for a few years after the downhill slide started with the boy. The other parent has made mistakes for sure but the child isn't abused, or neglected or unloved or wanted. Also i now have another younger child in the home as well as the brother that my son has been raised with (the 14 year old is 4.5 years older than his brother) and the older son has been physically violent with his younger brother, sure some playing and horsing around but also has made repeated attempts at serious harm. The youngest child in my home is 2 and while no attempts have been made to harm her he was also not left alone. I have said repeatedly I would happily and gladly take custody back BUT the child needed to have a diagnosis and services already in place, as I have spoken to mental health professionals who informed me that without a diagnosis and services in place already the childs behavior wouldn't be considered for the first year as it would be considered "a change of circumstance" and he would be allowed a transition period before any real help was issued. there is no recent history within my care that i would have been party and witness to or personally subjected to but with services already in place those would transfer. He's had services, but never an actual diagnosis, just suggestions of ADHD.

    I have spoken to counselors, therapists, lawyers, case workers, probation officers, police officers and given them the childs full history and backstory, I have begged for anyone to listen, to see the problems, and come to find that schizophrenia is in the other parents immediate family. I have considered that possibility as well as an attachment or other personality disorder as he lacks any and all empathy, remorse, or sympathy but these kinds of diagnosis aren't made in children generally.

    I have spoken to the detention center he is currently being held at and he is not eligible for any services that aren't court ordered until/unless he's remanded to that facility but they think he may be moving centers after his first court date, so we will see. I just dont know what I can do any more from here on out.

    I also decided I should add that his intention when running away was to go to NYC where he can "be homeless and do what i want", he did not attempt to come here or to contact me and when I asked if he wanted to come here he said no,as I have rules and he "can't do what he wants"
     
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Based on this additional info I would expect him to spend more time in custody this time around. He has likely used up his obligatory hand slap and any other chances. I would expect him to be in state custody at least until he is 16 if not longer.
    He will learn the hard way what happens when he doesn't care.
     
  8. InsideSpark

    InsideSpark Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have continued to state to the other parent that you can not make someone care, it's a hard pill to swallow none the less. I guess we're back to putting the oxygen mask on yourself first
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Kids say and do dumb things.

    If the kid lived in a 3rd world nation, he'd be herding goats by age 8 or 9.

    In our industrialized society, kids need parents to direct, guide, love, nurture, teach, and discipline them well into their 20s.

    that doesn't mean the young person doesn't venture out on their own, it means he or she has dad or mom to consult with and counsel her or him.

    The few sentences noted above indicate to me, a layman and parent and grandparent, your son needs help.

    He needs intense, inpatient therapy.

    Its not too late, it never is.

    I'm sure this is exasperating, but think how rewarding it'll be when the child makes progress.
     
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  10. InsideSpark

    InsideSpark Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have an eternally optimistic personality and I have been hopeful before. When the child originally went to the Childrens Home (and it was more of a structured setting than a jail or bootcamp type setting) he refused to speak to either parent, and eventually he engaged in therapy, family therapy with the other parent and eventually stepparent as well, phone calls that turned into visits that turned into weekends at home and then the other parent and stepparent relocated due to a military move (the stepparent is Active Duty) and the decision was made, partially due to his progress with the family, to take him to Virginia as well. Things were going so well and then the other shoe dropped so to speak. I have the intense desire to scoop up the child, hug him tightly and tell him how much I love him and will never give up on him, and I wont give up on him, i will continue to fight and advocate and speak for his mental health. I am terrified there is "something seriously wrong" and it hasn't been noticed, or discovered or what have you but this is what I can do, continue to fight on his behalf and even if he doesn't understand it now maybe he will someday, just like maybe someday things will be ok, maybe by the time he turns 18 he'll have wizened up and will be willing to make better decisions and wont want to spend his time in jail. Maybe, someday, eventually, they're all words that contain hope
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Some people need more than counseling.

    That's why I suggested a child psychiatrist, specializing in adolescent males.

    I don't doubt that people have tried.

    A psychiatrist, not a psychologist, can diagnose and treat his issues.

    At least the issues can be discovered.
     
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  12. InsideSpark

    InsideSpark Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes hes been seen by everyone but i think not enough interaction. He has a psychiatrist who he saw last week who said his behavior was typical albeit abnormal and he was "just angry". We shall see what happens from here on out !
     
  13. InsideSpark

    InsideSpark Law Topic Starter New Member

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    To update, as promised.

    The child has plead No Contest to 3 charges, while I can not recall which 2 (slightly more) minor ones off hand the greater charge was for Grand Larceny, I believe the other charges were Fleeing the Scene of a Crime and Operating a Vehicle without a License The child has been remanded to the Juvenile Detention Center where he has been held, and was inprocessed pending court action, as he's been deemed a flight risk, until the next court date which will be within 30 days for charges in the other county in Virginia, all jurisdiction and sentencing will remain with them. This is not counting the charges being brought by the State of Maryland either.

    So while nothing has happened exactly I am glad the things he said were taken seriously and he is considered a flight risk. The child has stated to several people since being held in custody that he intended on running off to NYC at his first available chance. I will update again after the next court date.
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Thank you for taking the time to keep us informed.

    It can't hurt, if you're inclined, to ask his lawyer if he can speak to a psychiatrist.

    In fact, the lawyer should probably ask for a psychiatric evaluation so that a plan can be put in place to help him.

    Sadly, he's in the right place.
     

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