Tue 23 Dec, 2008 04:00 am
i'm 15 years old and so is my best friend. we both live in colorado, in america. his mom is constantly yelling at him and tearing him down, and his dad gets drunk and beats him up. a couple days ago his dad pushed him into a cabinet and he got scared and punched him (for the first time ever). now he's in juvey because his dad is pressing assult charges even though it was self-defense. The parents stick up for each other, so they lie to protect each other. i talked with the detention center and it seems everything is up to the parents so i can't contact him or help him much. he doesn't want to live with them/put up with them anymore, i have witnesses (including my parents) of his parents' abuse, my friend isn't violent and has no history of violence, i've called social services on his parents, but he's still in deep trouble. i have several questions: 1)is there anything the witnesses or i can do to help prove my friend's innocence? 2)if he was convicted of assult, what could the punishment be? 3)if he was relocated to a different home, would it be in the same area as his current home?
Surely your friend will have a lawyer assigned? I'd have thought you guys could give info to the lawyer.....and that person would know how to use that in court.
You're going to croak over my understanding of the procedure, dlowan. I think if you're treated as a juvenile, you don't get a lawyer or a trial. You get a hearing, on the theory that the juvenile court is protecting you. My understanding could be way off; that's just what I've heard. It's great for the hardened criminals that get into the system, and not so good for the innocent.
Your friend needs a lawyer. Yesterday. One can be appointed by the court; it is done in what's called the "best interests of the child". He needs to tell the judge that there is abuse in the home and that it's not a clear-cut situation of juvenile detention. He should be able to get a lawyer (and perhaps a free one) for that, particularly if he can prove abuse with doctor's information on injuries.
You might want to check out the links listed at the Colorado Office of the Child's Representative website