Driving under the influence
My 16 year old son has been charged and a probation officier sent me a letter for a phone consultation. Will he automatically be put on probation?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Driving under the influence
If your son has only been CHARGED, then nothing will happen automatically. Indeed, I would NOT allow your son to talk to anyone about the DWI charge (positive or negative, because you can't say only positive things without waiving everything) without first consulting a lawyer. Even if you have to go to "legal aid" for reduced cost legal help or get a court-appointed lawyer.
What your son says could be used against him as an admission.
Also, there is the danger that the probation officer MIS-REMEMBERS what your son says. Even if he says nothing relevant, the probation officer could mix-up people or mis-remember and testify that your son ADMITTING to something, even if he did not. So he should not go alone, and if possible you should tape record the interview.
NOTE that I am saying this while charges are pending. I am not saying that a probation officer can NEVER ask about all of this... but while there are as-of-yet-undecided charges still pending against him, THAT is what he should not talk about.
I am assuming that the probation officer only intends to evaluate your son in order to be able to make a recommendation to the Court. It might be in your interests to tell the probation officer everythign else about his life and circumstances so that he can make a recommendation. But your son should not admit o tthe DWI charge or dicuss it.
Now, if he has a previous conviction and has already been assigned a provation officer, then he may have an obligation to talk to the officer under a previous conviction.
If he is convicted, it is highly likely that he will be placed on probation, but that might not be the worst of it.