When a juvenile is arrested and charged with a crime, the effects can last a lifetime. Just being questioned by a police officer is intimidating; imagine being taken into custody as a child or teenager.
When a child, under the age of 18 years is facing serious charges, it can be devastating not only to the child but to the parent as well. One of the most important questions a parent can ask himself or herself is: How do I protect my child?
Teens are still not mature enough to stop, think and really consider how serious their actions are and what the consequences might be. Especially if they have never been in trouble with the law and have never had legal consequences. For this reason, it is extremely important to consult with an experienced attorney, who has experience in not only defending criminal charges, but who is experienced in defending juveniles.
The juvenile court system is quite different from the adult court system in that it focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment. This is something that an experienced juvenile defense attorney must keep reminding the prosecution of because they tend to forget this. Keeping the prosecution focused on how to help the juvenile rather than punish him or her is extremely important in getting the best outcome for the juvenile.
Equally as important is preserving the juvenile’s record. One tool that is extremely helpful with this is Deferred Entry of Judgment. Preventing a guilty verdict or plea should always the goal.
If your child has been arrested or is being charged with a crime, contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney, who specialized in juvenile defense, should be your first step. As your child’s advocate, being informed will help you to make the right decisions for your child.