So you’re arrested, charged, make bail, etc. At the first hearing, you’re given a copy of the criminal complaint. Let’s say the traffic stop is on a young male driver with no license. The driver seems nervous, so the cop decides to check the car and driver. The driver tells the deputy he found a baggie he believed to contain an illegal substance. The deputy removed the baggie from the driver’s pocket. It appeared to be what the driver said it was, so the driver is arrested, the vehicle is towed with no further incident and the driver is taken to jail. End of description. The driver is charged with possession of a controlled substance. The complaint form is typed and the driver receives a copy in court.
The substance description was crossed out in pen, and above it a different substance is written in pen with the initials of the deputy? There was no mention of what was done with the substance. What is supposed to be done? The process continued with a plea hearing at seven months, an indictment at nine months and the public defender received the discovery by mail at 12 months. There was no meeting or consult with the public defender about the case.
The driver got a call from the public defender and there was a hearing last week, but the DA was no show. Still the driver was offered a plea by the defender and the hearing was rescheduled.
I have watched all this happen to my son. I am not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure it’s not right so far. I'm a disabled veteran and my only income has been 10 percent VA disability, which was recently raised. I’m going to try and find a real lawyer for him.
I have no big hopes. I’m looking for others’ thoughts so far. In the discovery process, I found a second version of the complaint that added details and statements my son had no knowledge of, which changes what happened. My son is 18 and had no prior record or contact with any law enforcement prior to or since then. His mistake was finding something and picking it up and not getting his license. He cooperated and gave no trouble to the deputy. I was called, went there and was told by the sheriff what occurred. Over a year later, we discover these changes were made and a different complaint was submitted to the grand jury that would give a different impression of his character and intentions.
There was another hearing last Wednesday. It was the first time my son has met his public defender in person. My son tried to talk to him, to ask some questions and show different statements we found. He did not want to hear about them. He offered a plea from the DA and the hearing was rescheduled. I need some advice.