Juvenile mistakes should not haunt minors or the underage for the rest of their lives. This is because they do not understand the full implication of certain actions. Teens are likely to act on impulse, led by emotions, without thinking about the repercussions.
Unluckily, a lapse in judgment can have grave and lifelong implications. If your teenager is facing legal charges, hiring a criminal defense attorney for juvenile cases can make all the difference.
This post will elaborate on what happens in a juvenile case and why you need a lawyer for juvenile court.
What Happens In A Juvenile Case?
Each state has a court system for minors (17 and younger) on the wrong side of the law. Several juveniles are, in the end, judged to be criminals by juvenile courts. Here is what to expect.
If a juvenile is alleged to violate criminal law, the process differs from the one used in adult criminal court. Most importantly, prosecutors, juvenile court judges, juvenile court officials, and the police have general discretion to take more informal steps in dealing with the case. Due to this, most minors do not reach the point of a formal adjudicatory hearing.
Similarly, the constitutional privileges of juveniles are not the same as those of adults accused of committing a crime. For instance, even though minors have the right to a lawyer at an adjudicatory hearing, in many states they do not have the privilege of having their case heard by a jury.
Other juvenile cases are reassigned to an adult court in a process known as “waiver.” Normally, minor cases subject to waiver involve serious offenses such as murder, rape, or minors who have already been on the wrong side of the law before.
Young offenders have the right to a hearing to decide if the case should be moved to adult court. Minors tried as adults face adult penalties and criminal convictions, like prison time.
Do You Need A Lawyer For Juvenile Court?
It’s crucial for minors to have a criminal defense attorney on their side. The attorney needs to be specialized in criminal law or acquainted with juvenile court processes. Studies show effective counsel assistance affects a case result. For instance, lawyers play a vital role in:
- Getting cases handled informally or diverted so the adolescent isn’t detained and has no previous court record.
- Making arrangements for juvenile release from pre-adjudication confinement.
- Avoiding teenagers from being tried as adults.
- Convincing a judge to agree on a creative and compassionate nature sentence.
Keeping Juveniles from Being Tried As Adults
Some juvenile cases are very serious and are thus transferred to adult criminal court. These cases are normally transferred to adult court in a procedure known as a waiver.
This is when the judge waives the protection offered by the juvenile court.
Minor cases subjected to waiver encompass serious crimes or teenagers in trouble severally. While getting tried as an adult offers juveniles more constitutional protection, it unfortunately has its downsides, including the probability of serving time in an adult correctional facility or the likelihood of a more severe sentence.
Increase Chances of Winning a Case
Your attorney is your advocate and must represent you for the best outcome in your criminal case. While some juvenile cases can be settled outside of court, an experienced lawyer will make sure your case makes its way through. They factor in the key elements related to your case so that you pick the right strategy that increases your chance of winning.
Working with a criminal defense lawyer helps you understand your juvenile case and how to use the right strategies and avenues to get better results.
Consult With a Criminal Defense Attorney
The Juvenile court case procedures are terrifying and confusing. Consider consulting a criminal defense attorney from the Cassell Firm to better understand how the law in your state functions. A qualified and experienced attorney will be able to explain the procedures and options available and offer the best representation.