What to do if my 17 year old started a fire to stay warm while waiting outside for a friend but it went out of control and caused $400,000 worth of damage to the town?

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What to do if my 17 year old started a fire to stay warm while waiting outside for a friend but it went out of control and caused $400,000 worth of damage to the town?

He is being arrested with a misdemeanor because it was not done maliciously. So stupid of him. We are not people of money so a public defender will be appointed. If the town takes us to civil court but we have no assets, what can we do? We are so upset and scared. We have 2 little ones as well.

Asked on March 26, 2013 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

He may be old enough in that the town won't seek liability from you directly. Consider going with your son to legal aid and see what their thoughts are. Contact the state bar and local bar associations and see if there are lawyers who can consult with you about this matter. At this point, he is being charged but the civil lawsuit or restitution may not be ready to be filed yet.


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