Facing misdemeanor or felony accusations can be frightening for anyone, especially underage children. Young people need understanding, compassion, and reassurance when thrown into the court system based on a moment of poor decision-making.
Hiring an attorney right away after an arrest for juvenile crimes may be your best defense against the potentially damaging consequences of a conviction. The attorneys listed in our network of Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys can provide valuable assistance to your family during such a difficult and confusing time.
Alternatives to Conviction
If there is insufficient evidence to convict or your child is wrongly accused, the ideal turnout is to have the state drop the charges altogether. If the evidence is strong or there is an admission of guilt, your juvenile criminal defense attorney can ask the court for certain leniency measures, such as sending the case to Diversion, an alternative sentencing program. Your lawyer will also help you explore all of the options for defense and explain the Diversion resources that may help your child avoid a permanent criminal record.
If a conviction cannot be avoided, your lawyer may suggest you file for expungement when the time is right. Expungement means once a child hits 18 years, or legal adult status, the juvenile criminal record can be sealed. An attorney can help you file a petition for expungement and demonstrate your child’s eligibility.
How to Get Started
You can find skilled juvenile defense attorneys in our lawyer directory. As you begin the process of choosing a juvenile criminal defense attorney, remember to seek a legal team who focuses their efforts on helping children. Lawyers who specialize in child criminal defense are well-informed on the state laws and the penalty structure for violations. They can use their knowledge of local courts, judges, and prosecuting attorneys to help your child get a fair outcome.
For personalized assistance understanding the juvenile court system in your state, contact a legal professional as soon as possible. If you would like immediate advice on how to handle your child’s recent arrest, please take a moment to search our list of juvenile criminal defense lawyers.