For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 29

or is currently in a juvenile placement, request
all records from the juvenile facility-including
behavioral notes; treatment reports; serious
incident reports; progress reports; discharge
plans; mental health and drug and alcohol
evaluations; and all other documentation. You
should have a thorough interview with your client
and your client's family to determine what other
documentation might exist in order to provide a
full history to the expert evaluating your client.
All of this documentation should be requested
through service of a subpoena or another court
order granting you access. Even with a court order,
some medical providers may request a release of
information signed by your client before they will
turn over records. Generally, the documentation
you collect will not be used as evidence in the
decertification hearing but will be used to assist
your expert in completing a full and accurate
assessment of your client.
After reviewing the records and evaluating
your client, your expert will determine whether
to recommend the juvenile for transfer (that
is, to conclude that your client is amenable to
treatment). If your expert is willing to recommend
your client for transfer, he or she should write

a report to document the findings. This
report may be entered into evidence at
the decertification hearing. Incriminating
statements obtained during the course of the
assessment may not be used against your client
in determining whether he or she committed
a delinquent act or in determining guilt in a
criminal proceeding.11 Therefore, your expert
may ask your client about the underlying
charges and may include your client's statements
in a written report and those statements
cannot be used against the juvenile at any later
trial or adjudicatory hearing. Because your
expert must consider criminal sophistication,12
this information about the pending case is
relevant to the evaluator. Including your client's
statements about the incident in an evaluation
can also have a strategic benefit. A client
who shows remorse and a willingness to take
responsibility for his or her actions may look
more like a person the court wants to take a
chance on transferring to juvenile court. On the
other hand, your client may have a version of
the story that is different from that provided
in the criminal complaint that could offer a
reasonable explanation for why an otherwise

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Vol. 4, Issue 3

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For The Defense

29


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For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 5
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 6
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For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 8
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For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 11
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 12
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