Andrew H. Stevenson, Attorney At Law
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Charges/Pleas/Sentencing Archives

3 things you should do if your child has been charged with a crime

You just found out your child has been charged with a crime. You're confused, scared and uncertain about how to help your child through this. You're not alone. It's normal to be unsure about how to move forward, but here are three things you must do in this situation.

The No Contest Plea and The Legend of the Legal "Loophole"

Frequently, I get calls from individuals who are upset that they were convicted of a misdemeanor and now have to go to jail, pay a fine or be on probation. I inquire why they are surprised and frequently I am told that they plead no contest and expected the case to be "thrown out."  They tell me they "heard" pleading No Contest was a loophole in the system. However, in their case, the "loophole" did not work so well. Several times I have inquired as to the details of what they heard about the "loophole," and usually I am told the following:

My Neighbor Has To Go to Court and I Don't Even Own a Chainsaw

For illustrative purposes, begin by picturing a cool fall day in October. Rather than rake the leaves piling up in my back yard, which seem to fall mostly from my neighbor's trees, I decide to take trip to the local police station. I calmly walk in, go to the nice lady behind the glass and tell her that I would like to report a crime. Asked the nature of the crime, I explain that my neighbor stole my chainsaw. The receptionist instructs me to fill out a complaint form. I dutifully comply and write down the following:

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