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Old 04-27-2012, 07:35 AM   #41
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Is deferred adjudication an option? I used this process on a speeding ticket. You do not plead guilty. The offense does not go on your record. You do pay the fine. And as long as you do not have a similar offense within some time period (6 months) the matter disappears. Worked well enough for a speeding ticket. But not sure if it applies to this scenario. You could ask the county courthouse or whereever the ticket was issued from.
I have done this with my granddaughters when they got their first traffic tickets. it worked. I just paid the fine and if no other problems was gone in 1 year, no record of it. In this case I called the county attorney and ask if there were any alternatives to court and he said deferment but it would have to be handled through my attorney and that is what I did.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:06 AM   #42
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Found this thread online which may provide some insight regarding deferred adjudication and expungement in Texas:

Expungement in Texas for a Class C Misdemeanor
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:06 AM   #43
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Expungement does not do anything when applying for US citizenship. You still need to disclose it. See http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/M-476.pdf page 25.
Granted, the officer will probably not deny your application just because this one occurrence, but why to increase risk?
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:32 AM   #44
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Expungement does not do anything when applying for US citizenship. You still need to disclose it. See http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/M-476.pdf page 25.
Granted, the officer will probably not deny your application just because this one occurrence, but why to increase risk?
I can't speak with respect to citizenship applications, but expungement may be of value in the future with respect to job applications. Bush's daughter had an alcohol excursion a few years, but IIRC it was expunged from her record. Speeding tickets that show up on your record can also cause insurance rates to raise, so this too may be something you do not want permanently on your record.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:04 AM   #45
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Found this thread online which may provide some insight regarding deferred adjudication and expungement in Texas:

Expungement in Texas for a Class C Misdemeanor
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Expungement does not do anything when applying for US citizenship. You still need to disclose it. See http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/M-476.pdf page 25.
Granted, the officer will probably not deny your application just because this one occurrence, but why to increase risk?

I saw the info on expungement.... I would rather not get to that point, but if we do I will definately do that...


I have been looking at the info on citizenship... I do not think we have to disclose it since he qualifies due to me being one and my wife getting hers... still, I do not want him to have a record anyhow...
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:11 AM   #46
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To update: We have not heard anything since the first contact, but my wife went to talk to an assistant principal at another school where she student taught and subs all the time. He said it is not something to panic about since it is his first time and will more than likely not be a charge.

He gave us a name of a lawyer and I have been researching for some lawyers myself. I will be doing some interviews with them over the next week. From what I understand, we will probably not hear anything for months, so I have some time.

There is the possibility of deferred adjudication.... but some of what I have read is that it is not alway offered. Another reason to hire a lawyer.

So yes, I am hiring a lawyer as I do not want to get caught in some technicality that a little knowledge could have prevented, or miss out on something that could have helped us.

Thanks for all the input. I had thought that I would need to hire a lawyer from the start, but wanted to find out if someone had gone through this themselves.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:33 AM   #47
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To update: We have not heard anything since the first contact, but my wife went to talk to an assistant principal at another school where she student taught and subs all the time. He said it is not something to panic about since it is his first time and will more than likely not be a charge.

He gave us a name of a lawyer and I have been researching for some lawyers myself. I will be doing some interviews with them over the next week. From what I understand, we will probably not hear anything for months, so I have some time.

There is the possibility of deferred adjudication.... but some of what I have read is that it is not alway offered. Another reason to hire a lawyer.

So yes, I am hiring a lawyer as I do not want to get caught in some technicality that a little knowledge could have prevented, or miss out on something that could have helped us.

Thanks for all the input. I had thought that I would need to hire a lawyer from the start, but wanted to find out if someone had gone through this themselves.
I think your approach is fine.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:39 AM   #48
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Plus, if your son is going to become an American citizen, he needs to understand about our litigious society and how you can't open a lemonade stand or collect bottles for the return deposit without involving a horde of lawyers. He may actually be able to get some extra credit out of this experience.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:55 AM   #49
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Please reread "Growing Olders" post as he said it all much better then me!! As a parent though you should get to the bottom of this by talking with your son and always try to do the best by your child especially since your son has never been involved in anything like this before. DO NOT TRUST THE SCHOOL or any school advisor because it is "their job" to look after "the school's best interest". It is YOUR Job" to look after "your son's best interest" but don't bury your head in the sand either. We all make mistakes & hopefully we learn a life lesson without having to pay too big a price. We cant compare ourselves to Bush's Family or Obama Family or some CEO family as they just ALL hire each others kids regardless of prior problems. Remember after your son's case gets dismissed you only have a short window of opportunity to expunge his records. Follow up & double check these records too. A "C" summons is not to be taken lightly. Again speak with your son so that he too clearly understands his actions and how it will impact his future and his reputation.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:00 PM   #50
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Late to the thread and lots of good advice from everyone. Lawyering up makes the most sense, and you could even speak to public interest entities (e.g., the ACLU or minority-rights organization) if you think you have a case of discrimination/violation of civil rights by the school against your son. In fact, I've heard of cases where it has been alleged that the school failed to provide a safe learning environment by turning a blind eye to bullying. A little Googling turned up the following in Texas:

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #51
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Late to the thread and lots of good advice from everyone. Lawyering up makes the most sense, and you could even speak to public interest entities (e.g., the ACLU or minority-rights organization) if you think you have a case of discrimination/violation of civil rights by the school against your son. In fact, I've heard of cases where it has been alleged that the school failed to provide a safe learning environment by turning a blind eye to bullying. A little Googling turned up the following in Texas:

Texas

Thanks for the link....

I find it amazing that one of the solutions is (my added bold)...

"On the request of a parent or other person with authority to act on behalf of a student who is a victim of bullying, the board of trustees of a school district or the board's designee shall transfer the victim to: ..."


Why not get the bully out of the class or school Seems to me that he 'won' if the victim is the one that has to move....
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:28 PM   #52
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Thanks for the link....

I find it amazing that one of the solutions is (my added bold)...

"On the request of a parent or other person with authority to act on behalf of a student who is a victim of bullying, the board of trustees of a school district or the board's designee shall transfer the victim to: ..."


Why not get the bully out of the class or school Seems to me that he 'won' if the victim is the one that has to move....
+1 totally agree - backasswards
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:03 PM   #53
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Thanks for the link....

I find it amazing that one of the solutions is (my added bold)...

"On the request of a parent or other person with authority to act on behalf of a student who is a victim of bullying, the board of trustees of a school district or the board's designee shall transfer the victim to: ..."

Why not get the bully out of the class or school Seems to me that he 'won' if the victim is the one that has to move....
Sometimes the victim benefits from leaving. Say that person did something inappropriate or something they later regretted that is very embarrassing. But the whole student body knows about it, makes comments about it, or gives funny looks to that person. Even though the victims initial action might have caused the problem, they are still the subject being bullied. Thus in that situation it may be in the best interest of the student to start over new in another school where they wont feel like everyone knows what went on. Just an example off the top of my head where a student and parent might want this option.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:53 PM   #54
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Under no circumstances shoud you be talking to the prosecutor. Keep your mouth shut and hire a lawyer immediately. Get a good lawyer experienced in these matter regardless of the cost. I know what I am talking about. I know someone who been through a very serious false allegation. He hired a lawyer immediately, kept his mouth shut and did not discuss with even his closest friend. Check out the video on line by the Harvard prof on why you should always keep your mouth especially when dealing with the police. You've already said too much on here and admitted that your son did things that you should not. Speaking to the principal was also not a good idea.
Absolutely. And fight it, fight it, fight it. DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:38 PM   #55
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I'm sorry you're having to deal with this; however, in reference to this being blown out of proportion and the way administrators nowadays don't turn a blind eye or exercise discretion--they are not permitted to do so. If you look at your Texas Education Code, you will see a laundry list of what they are required to report. What we, in our school days, would have seen as a "simple fight", which would have been handled by the principal, is now seen as assault and/or bullying, and is required to be documented and reported up the chain, with disciplinary action (also outlined) taken and documented.

As has been advised, protect your child, consult an attorney, and question every step of the process to make sure you understand what the options are.

Also, you can contact your school district's district-office level of administration (usually an Assistant Superintendent or Student Services Director) to find out what your district's policies and procedures are (yet another layer of rules that dictates the responses of the site-level administration) and explore any alternatives that would be less harmful/more beneficial to your child in resolving the situation.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:29 PM   #56
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I'm sorry you're having to deal with this; however, in reference to this being blown out of proportion and the way administrators nowadays don't turn a blind eye or exercise discretion--they are not permitted to do so. If you look at your Texas Education Code, you will see a laundry list of what they are required to report. What we, in our school days, would have seen as a "simple fight", which would have been handled by the principal, is now seen as assault and/or bullying, and is required to be documented and reported up the chain, with disciplinary action (also outlined) taken and documented.

As has been advised, protect your child, consult an attorney, and question every step of the process to make sure you understand what the options are.

Also, you can contact your school district's district-office level of administration (usually an Assistant Superintendent or Student Services Director) to find out what your district's policies and procedures are (yet another layer of rules that dictates the responses of the site-level administration) and explore any alternatives that would be less harmful/more beneficial to your child in resolving the situation.

But it is not handled the same in all schools.... my wife is a sub teacher and asked kids in another school about fighting.... they said that there are 10 to 20 PER WEEK... and nobody has been given a ticket.... same school district.... just different admin people...

And there has been fights at my kids school without tickets being handed out... at least from what I can gather talking to people...
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:00 PM   #57
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Under no circumstances should you be talking to the prosecutor. Keep your mouth shut and hire a lawyer immediately. Get a good lawyer experienced in these matter regardless of the cost. I know what I am talking about. I know someone who been through a very serious false allegation. He hired a lawyer immediately, kept his mouth shut and did not discuss with even his closest friend. Check out the video on line by the Harvard prof on why you should always keep your mouth especially when dealing with the police. You've already said too much on here and admitted that your son did things that you should not. Speaking to the principal was also not a good idea.
I second this, it is particularly important because of his immigration status. Better to spend money now on a lawyer than end up in immigration court.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:15 AM   #58
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The assistant principal said that the judge is more lenient if you plead guilty. However, I would not even want to get that far... I would much rather have a deal in place where he does some community service, we pay the court costs and be done with it...
One. I'm not an attorney, though I'm a professional in the legal field. What I'm passing on to you seems to be the common thought among attorneys here:

If you plead guilty, you are admitting to the facts of the case, and also admitting to criminal responsibility. The judge will pass sentence immediately and generally accept the guilty plea. If you are sued for damages, that guilty plea can be held against you in a civil court as an admission of civil responsibility. If you plead 'not guilty' another court day will be scheduled where the judge will hear all evidence and testimony, and the judge will make a finding of guilty or not guilty. A third option is a 'no contest' plea (may have a different name in your jurisdiction). A 'no contest' plea is an admission that the facts are correct, but you don't think the facts constitute a crime. The judge will make an immediate decision, but you will be given the opportunity to make your case as to why you think there was no crime. Since there's a video which shows the 'facts', it's difficult to argue against a recording. But, even if the judge makes a guilty finding on a 'no contest' plea, you have not made a confession of guilt, and should there be a civil lawsuit for damages, the complainant will have to prove their case against you.

THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. No one here can advise you what to do, and they would be foolish to do so. That is an attorney's function, and it is up to you whether or not to seek an attorney's advice. This is merely information for you to research in your jurisdiction.

There is, IMO, some paranoid commentary being made about what you should or shouldn't do. Speak to whom you wish - your words cannot be used against your son because you are neither the defender, nor are you a witness to the offense. Anything you relate is hearsay and not admissible in court. Best to have all the information you can acquire to help you make a decision. Don't let your son make statements, though.

Good luck.

edit: You should also investigate the wording of the charge against your son. Please note he was not given a 'ticket', he was technically arrested and released on a court summons.

here is Ohio's disorderly law:

"
(A) No person shall recklessly cause inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to another by doing any of the following:
(1) Engaging in fighting, in threatening harm to persons or property, or in violent or turbulent behavior;
(2) Making unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display or communicating unwarranted and grossly abusive language to any person;
(3) Insulting, taunting, or challenging another, under circumstances in which that conduct is likely to provoke a violent response;
(4) Hindering or preventing the movement of persons on a public street, road, highway, or right-of-way, or to, from, within, or upon public or private property, so as to interfere with the rights of others, and by any act that serves no lawful and reasonable purpose of the offender;
(5) Creating a condition that is physically offensive to persons or that presents a risk of physical harm to persons or property, by any act that serves no lawful and reasonable purpose of the offender."

If someone does any one of the five elements listed, they are guilty of DC

And at some point in time he will have to make a plea of some sort, before this can be finalized.
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:20 PM   #59
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I was going to say the same thing! I'm not a lawyer. But you have the constitutional right to examine, and cross-examine, the evidence against you. A ticket is just an accusation from a cop. It had not real effect beyond that if you challenge it. A prosecutor will need to decide whether to pursue the matter before there is a court date. Until there is an actual charge, I don't think you have discovery rights.

Not that you have suggested in any way that you want to try to get your son out of this, I suspect that if you communicate that he is not going to go down easy, they might decide not to pursue it. If they know that you're going to demand discovery, demand an examination of the original "tapes", cross examine school officials about whether they might have witnessed the bullying incidents, cross examine many other students, etc. they might decide it is just not worth the hassle.

I also don't know which state you are in. If it is Texas as you name suggests, your son might have rights that are "inconvenient" to the school. I know here in Arizona we have some rights to defend one's self, cattle, property, etc. that make it difficult to enforce a policy of punishing both parties in a fight that many schools and so forth try to implement now.

One option might be to try to drag this out so that it becomes unbearably expensive for the prosecution and the school. The trouble though is that they could come back and play hardball and arrest your some of worse. They could charge him with a felony for example.

These kinds of things are especially annoying to me because I know from previous experience that things like this can be really twisted and spun out of control later in life. Try to get a security clearance or sensitive jobs with an arrest record for example even if you were exonerated.

I mean, it was a simple school fight! That's what boys do. If the school wants to make a federal case out of it then perhaps you could make it difficult for them. If you choose that route then I think a lawyer would be a good idea. Maybe initially a public defender?
I might also add contacting local press. If you want to make this go away, put public pressure on school...

I would consult an attorney before contacting press, and also tell your son (there could be consequences at school).

I am type which would make it difficult for school unless I got something out of the deal which benefited my son.
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