16 year old son charged with grand larceny and breaking and entering

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16 year old son charged with grand larceny and breaking and entering

what is going to happen to my son who is 17 now and was 16 when he was charged with first offense breaking and entering and grand larceny. He is a good boy and goes to school every day and does what ever I ask him to do, he was just with the wrong person at the time and he so regrets it ever happening. we know he is not going to get off scott free, but will he be put in jail. we have a public defender, we have only talked once and she said that he should start community service now and not wait for the judge, we go to court on 5/11/09 Thanks for any help you can give.

Asked on May 1, 2009 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Judges have a fair amount of freedom to sentence as they think best, within the law.  Some of the things judges look at are the person's age, who else was involved, if the person regrets breaking the law, if the person has tried to make up for the damage done.  Judges in one town may see the same case differently from judges in another county, and sometimes even two judges in the same courthouse would hand out different sentences on the same case.

It also makes a difference if your son has been charged as an adult or as a juvenile.

If your lawyer suggested that he start community service now, I would take that advice.  Public defenders handle a lot of cases.  While that makes it hard to get much of her time for you to ask questions, it also means that she should have a good "feel" for what the judge will do, and what will help get him to go easy on your son.


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