When a minor child is accused of committing a crime they are generally tried in juvenile court. In extreme cases, the State Attorney may determine that the criminal offense was so severe that the youthful offender should be tried as an adult.
In the juvenile court system, youthful offenders are subject to the same criminal charges as an adult may face, but may be subject to milder penalties on account of their youth. In juvenile court, concessions are sometimes granted to have the case sealed, and sometimes allow the youthful offender to have the criminal record expunged after a designated period of time.
While being tried as an adult, the youthful offender faces the full sentencing penalties that an adult would face for the same crime and circumstances of the case.
First and foremost, it is important to try to ensure the juvenile crime case is sent to the juvenile criminal court. Staying out of the adult legal system is the initial primary goal of any experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney.
In Juvenile Court, the alleged youthful offender has the same rights as any adult. Under the law, children are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. An alleged juvenile offender as a legal right to defend his or her self to prove their innocence with the guidance, advice, and representation of competent legal counsel.
Prosecutors in juvenile court must present THEIR theory of the alleged crime, and in doing so, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the crime (or crimes) in question. If the prosecution is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the evidence supports THEIR theory of the crime, then a conviction can not be the resulting verdict.
If your minor child has been arrested for a criminal offense, you need an attorney on your child's side who is knowledgeable of the law, experienced at trial, and able to negotiate from a position of strength. Call our law office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 863.709.0808, or by using our online case evaluation form.
We stand ready to aggressively represent you child, and answer all of your questions. An aggressive defense of your case in the early stages could lead to the charges against your child being dismissed or reduced.