Can a judge legally do this?

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Can a judge legally do this?

I have a 16 yr. old step daughter that appeared before the judge on a possession of alcohol charge. She appeared in court and the judge ordered a urine screen, her screening came back positive NOT FOR alcohol But for having cannabis in her system. The judge then orders her into the juvenile detention center, can a judge legally incarcerate her Not on the original charge that she appeared for which was possession of alcohol but on the dirty urine test that she was not formally processed for?

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It's possible that your step daughter's rights were violated, but before I'd act on that idea, I'd have a lawyer in your area review all the facts.  If you need to look for an attorney, one place you can do that is our website, http://attorneypages.com

It's true that there is ordinarily a due process problem, with having to face charges in court that weren't in the notice that summoned you to court.  But there are at least two problems with that argument, here.  One is that in juvenile court in general, most of the usual rules are relaxed, because the juvenile justice system has a protective component as well as the punishment side of it; it takes much less to justify confinement if the overall purpose is protecting her best interests.  The second is that, if the marijuana screening is part of the routine testing that would be done on a urine screening in this context, running the test isn't a violation of your step-daughter's rights.


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