Should I accept the stay of adjudication or continue for dismissal?

DETAILS

I’m being blamed for a school bomb threat. I was with the girl who wrote it but she’s blaming it on me because I beat up her sister..my mom runs a daycare and im trying to make it so she can still do her job at home and me still live here.. what should I do.

ANSWER

The best thing to do would be to consult with an attorney about your case. There are legal differences between a stay of adjudication and a continuance for dismissal. In short, for a stay of adjudication, you have to admit guilt up front. For a Continuance for dismissal, you do not. These are two separate plea deals with different legal consequences. An attorney can explain these differences to you and advise you of the best course of action for your case.

It seems, on the face, that you may even have a good defense to the charge. Also, if your mom’s daycare status is in jeopardy, it makes it even more important to seek the advice of counsel. Typically, it is EXTREMELY hard to get a guilty plea withdrawn. Saying, “I didn’t know my mom would lose her license” probably wouldn’t work as a reason to withdraw a plea.

If you can not afford an attorney, seek the guidance of the public defender’s office in your jurisdiction. You are entitled to a public defender if you meet the guidelines (and you probably do because you are student and probably don’t have income). I do not practice in Balaton, but, I believe this may be the contact information for the PD in your area:

Public Defender’s Office
601 Jewett St # A, Marshall, MN 56258
(507) 537-6062 ‎

Just remember, going to a court hearing without an attorney and potentially taking a plea deal without an attorney is like going to a gun battle without a gun.

I wish you the best,
Lauren