Tennessee Juvenile Crimes and Delinquency Defense Lawyer
Juvenile law deals with crimes committed by children. The maximum age varies from state to state, but the maximum age for a juvenile offender is usually seventeen. Governmental bodies, including the federal government, states, and cities, prosecute all types of crimes committed by children, from traffic violations to serious felonies like rape and murder.
If your child has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime, it is essential that you seek legal counsel from a juvenile defense attorney immediately so that you can preserve his or her rights and stop or minimize damage to your child’s future.
Children involved in juvenile court matters have many of the same rights adults would have if they were accused of a crime. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to cross-examine witnesses against them, and the right to be represented by a lawyer.
Juveniles often have additional rights - juvenile court records are not open to the public, but are sealed, so that no one will be able to learn about a juvenile record. A juvenile defense attorney can explain and clarify your local practices and take some of the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty out of a frightening situation
Juvenile Crime and Delinquency Background
When an adult is charged with a crime, he or she is brought into court in order to determine first, if he or she committed a crime, and second, the appropriate punishment. Juvenile court has, at least in theory, a somewhat different emphasis.
The purpose of juvenile court is not as much to punish young offenders, as it is to reform them. If a juvenile is found to have committed a crime, he or she is may be sentenced to detention, or in some cases, turned over into state’s custody. If a juvenile is detained or incarcerated for his or her actions, he or she will not necessarily serve the same amount of jail time as an adult convicted of the same offense.
In most cases, juvenile offenders to be released from custody when they become adults. However, in some cases, the court of the district attorney may extend jurisdiction or involvement in the case until the child is nineteen. A juvenile adjudication will generally not count as a conviction of a crime for future job applications.
However, when dealing with more serious crimes or with children that already have criminal histories, the state may attempt to transfer the child’s case to adult criminal court where punishments and consequences are usually much more serious.
It is important to involve a juvenile crimes defense lawyer as soon as possible, if your child is charged with a crime or you suspect your child may be charged with a crime. Early intervention by a juvenile crimes defense lawyer is vital in order to achieve the best results for your child or loved one.
In recent years, there have been moves in many states to make the emphasis of juvenile court more like that of adult court, and focus on the punishment of young offenders. More juveniles are being tried in adult courts.
An experienced juvenile defense attorney can explain how your child's case will be handled. Before speaking to any investigators, detectives, or department of children’s service (DCS) representatives, it is important to talk to an experienced juvenile crimes defense lawyer.
A criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in juvenile delinquency and crime can assist you in determining what is the best course of action in your situation and whom you should talk to, if anyone. Frequently, it is not in the best interest of your child for your or that child to make a statement without first consulting a juvenile crime lawyer or attorney.
The Juvenile Crime and Delinquency Defense Process
All lawyers involved in the juvenile justice process, whether they are prosecuting or defending, must adhere to a complex set of rules of procedure to ensure a fair trial. Although juvenile court can often be less formal than adult court, the procedures are still complicated. Because of this complicated procedure, it is important to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the juvenile justice system. Criminal of Juvenile Defense lawyers should become involved in the matter as early as possible, usually even before a child is questioned by the police or Department of Children’s Services.
The police have the obligation to inform possible defendants of their right to counsel and the right to have counsel appointed by the court if they cannot afford to pay for an attorney or lawyer
Juvenile Crime Sentencing
If a juvenile is adjudged to be guilty of a crime, he or she may receive probation, have a fine imposed, be ordered to perform community service, receive outpatient or inpatient counseling or treatment, be ordered to make restitution or pay back the losses caused by the criminal or delinquent acts, or be sentenced to serve time in a juvenile correctional facility.
An experienced juvenile defense attorney can work with the prosecutor to negotiate a deal that provides for the least severe punishment or, if no deal is worked out, the defense lawyer can zealously represent the defendant in court, attempting to prove to the jury that the prosecutor cannot prove that the child committed a crime.
Juvenile Justice System Conclusion
Being accused of a crime is a frightening and stressful event. Even in the most minor cases, it makes sense to secure a Tennessee juvenile criminal defense lawyer at The Garza Law Firm, we can help navigate the juvenile justice process, provide zealous representation, and minimize or eliminate the negative impact on the child's life. If your child has been charged with committing a crime, do not delay in contacting a juvenile defense lawyer immediately.