If your child has violated the law and you want to make sure to protect their right to a good education or their employment prospects, it’s a good idea to consider working with a juvenile defense attorney. Juvenile laws and penalties are not always the same as adult laws or penalties, so it’s important for you to gain a good understanding of what the punishments for a crime could be and how they could influence your child in the long term.
Often, people think that because a crime was committed by a child that it isn’t as serious as if it was an adult. They may assume that the court will view this as a “kid just being a kid,” but the reality is that children and young adults can also be held accountable for their actions. They can be imprisoned just like adults, though they will likely go to the juvenile detention facility instead of a jail or prison housing adults. Remember, too, that once your child reaches the age of 18, many adult penalties will apply to them. Similarly, if they are close to 18 and commit a serious or heinous crime, they could be tried as an adult.
How can a juvenile defense attorney help?
Juvenile defense attorneys focus on helping those who are underage get the support and protections they deserve. Even in the juvenile court system, there can be biases and administrative errors. A juvenile defense attorney’s goal is to make sure your child is not treated unfairly and that they’re represented well.
A good juvenile defense attorney will go over the charges that your child may face as well as any that they could be reduced to. They will also look into alternative penalties and see if the particular charge could be dropped if your child completes certain tasks, like a probationary period or substance abuse counseling.
Your child’s future doesn’t necessarily have to be damaged because of charges or convictions, but it is necessary to make sure that they have the representation they need. The court system can be harsh, but good support can help minimize the damage to your child’s reputation and future.