Parenting is one of the toughest jobs, and as our children become older, they gain more independence and responsibility. At Mark Solomon, P.A., we understand that just because law enforcement arrested your child, he or she is not necessarily guilty. The last thing you want for your child is that he or she lives with a criminal record. We understand the stress and anxiety that arises when juveniles are charged with crimes. We will help your child resolve his or her juvenile criminal case so that your family can get back to normal and your child can get back to becoming a responsible adult.
The Judicial Court System Many people who are not familiar with the juvenile court system are surprised to learn about it. The Department of Juvenile Justice system focuses on helping rehabilitate minors with consequences aimed to help them grow more mature and become more educated. Young people are often more likely to learn from their mistakes than adults when they receive proper training. At Mark Solomon, P.A., we focus on helping us navigate the court system effectively. Attorney Mark Solomon has decades of experience representing minors in criminal cases.
Juvenile Crimes A juvenile crime happens when a minor child, under the age of 18 years-old, commits a crime. Any person who commits a crime can be arrested and charged in a court of law, even minors. However, juveniles become part of a specific court system run by the Department of Juvenile Justice, which oversees juvenile cases, and determines the punishments. Some of the most commonly charged juvenile crimes include the following:
Drug crimes, including sale, possession, delivery, manufacture, and trafficking
Activities related to gangs
Juvenile probation violation
Sex crimes, including sexual battery, sexual assault, prostitution, and solicitation
Theft crimes and shoplifting
DUI, traffic offenses, speeding, and reckless driving
Violent crimes including assault and arson
Minors Have Constitutional Rights Minors have the same constitutional rights as adults. When investigating minors for crimes, law enforcement must abide by the same consultation requirements as in any other crime. They cannot engage in illegal search and seizures, for example. When law enforcement violates a minor’s constitutional rights, the minor’s defense lawyer can petition the court to throw out any evidence gathered by the unlawful search or seizure.
Minors also have additional legal protections that adults do not enjoy. They have the right to have their name redacted from legal documents, for reasons of confidentiality. They also have the right to have their parents present every time law enforcement officials question them. The sooner you hire an experienced juvenile defense lawyer, the better.
Attorney Mark Solomon can ensure that during the investigation phase, law enforcement officers follow state and federal laws that protect your child. He has an in-depth understanding of what different juvenile charges mean and their corresponding sentences. He will ensure that your child’s rights are protected and that law enforcement and prosecutors do not unfairly take advantage of your child by violating his or her constitutional rights or by bringing inflated criminal charges.
Can Judges Sentence Juveniles to Jail? One of the most frequently asked questions involves whether or not minors will need to serve jail time if they are convicted. As with adult crimes, the punishments for juvenile crimes depend on crime with which your child has been charged. If your child has been charged a serious crime like homicide, rape, or aggravated assault, he or she could certainly face prison time if convicted. It is essential that you retain an experienced and assertive juvenile defense lawyer who has an impeccable reputation for advocating fiercely for clients.
The Juvenile Criminal Process Understanding the basic process of the juvenile justice system can be incredibly helpful. If this is the first time your child has been charged with a crime, you are likely feeling disoriented with the process. The first step in the juvenile justice process happens when law enforcement arrests the minor, or issues a citation due to a violation of criminal law. If law enforcement officers arrest the minor, they will conduct an assessment of the risks of the juvenile’s alleged actions. If they determine that he or she is not a risk of other harm, they will release the minor into the custody of his or her parents. Or, they will hold the minor in a juvenile detention facility for up to 21 days when they determine that the defendant poses a risk.
The Initial Hearing in Juvenile Court Minors undergo a non-jury trial called an adjudicatory hearing. The hearing process is different from the types of adult criminal trials. The language and types of rulings are also unique. The minor will appear before a juvenile court judge who will determine the outcome of the case and apply sanctions, when necessary. When a judge determines that a minor is “adjudicated,” he or she rules that your child did commit a delinquent act or a violation of law. If the judge rules “adjudication withheld,” the judge concluded that your child did commit a delinquent act or violation of the law, but will withhold a formal pronouncement of delinquency. Minors who are determined to be delinquent can be committed to a detention facility. Depending on the outcome of the hearing, the minor may need to participate in a diversion program, take classes and attend counseling, conduct community service, or spend time in a juvenile detention facility.
Contact Our Experienced Lawyers Today If your child is in trouble, your family needs a skilled and experienced juvenile attorney. Mark Solomon, P.A. has extensive experience representing minors in juvenile proceedings. Contact us as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.