What to do if my minor son and his adult friend were arrested for shoplifting?

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What to do if my minor son and his adult friend were arrested for shoplifting?

My son is taking full responsibility for the crime and has in fact already completed community services for this. The older friend has subpeoned him to testify that he didn’t have anything to do with this (which is true). How do I handle my son telling the judge that he (my son) was the only culprit without having to announce this is public court?

Asked on May 9, 2013 under Criminal Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Every prosecutor's office is slightly different, but one option is to have his lawyer or his friend's lawyer set out his testimony in an affidavit in advance to be submitted to the prosecution.  Some will take a sworn affidavit into consideration and dismiss the charges without wasting the energy and resources on a trial.  The are not required to accept the affidavit, but if they do, it will save everyone  great deal of grief.  If the prosecutor is hestitant about accepting the affidavit, even offer to take a polygraph.  Polygraphs are not generally admissible, but it is a sign that your son is confident enough in his statment to put it to the test with a poly.  Absent this avenue, your son is stuck with testifying in open court.  I know this is embarrassing for him- but most trials have very few observers.... not like on TV where there are dozens of spectators-- so don't stress too much on the public aspect of his testimony.


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