The "arraignment" is the term of art used for your child's first court setting. Your child's juvenile defense attorney uses this setting to gather information about your child's case and about the strength of the District Attorney's case by reviewing their file. Defense attorneys are able to read over the police report and other evidence regarding your child's case because the District Attorney in Harris County has an open file policy. In addition, at this setting, in an effort to avoid a trial and to free up the court's docket, the Assistant District Attorney may offer a plea bargain in your child's case.
If it is ready, your defense attorney will also be able to read over the probation report on your child's case at this setting. Most likely, the probation officer has already called you and your child's school to gather information about your child's performance and behavior at home and at school. As the information will be relied upon by the prosecutor for plea bargaining purposes and by the court for disposition or punishment purposes, it is critical that the information in this report is true and accurate.
Sometimes, at the conclusion of this first setting, your child's case may be reset to a date further down the road. In order for your juvenile defense lawyer to interview witnesses, gather more information and to test the State's case and evidence, it may be necessary to reset your child's court date. Your juvenile defense attorney will be able to let you know whether or not your should reset your child's case.
Houston Board Certified Juvenile Law Attorney Jim Sullivan will work hard to finish your child's case with as few court settings as possible while at the same time protecting your child's rights. You can call him right now at 281-546-6428.