Should I get an attorney if my 14 year son was caught selling prescription drugs on middle school grounds but has already admitted to the crime?

He was questioned by the police at school but without a parent present. He admitted to the police that he did sell 2 xanax pills but I feel that he was coerced into this confession. By the time I was allowed to go sit with him, he was in tears and had already confessed. He was arrested and has a court date next month. For the court hearing, should I get legal representation (money is tight for us right now)? Will legal representation make a difference in the outcome since he already admitted to the crime?

Asked on July 24, 2015 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your son needs an attorney.  The statement that your son gave may or not be admissible in court.  Proper representation will insure that only admissible evidence gets used against your son.  The first part of any case is guilt/innocence-- but that's only half of the issues that your son will need assistance with.  The second half, assuming that he is found guilty, is the punishment phase.  Your son will also need help with this phase to insure that he gets a proper punishment. 

If your son cannot afford an attorney for your son, then your son should request a court appointed attorney.  Your son also needs to hold off talking to any other law enforcement officers until such time that he can obtain representation.


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