When your child has been accused, charged with, or being investigated for allegedly committing a crime, it is undoubtedly a daunting experience, and you will be concerned for your child’s welfare and future. The child involved will be referred to as a ‘juvenile,’ meaning they are under the legal age, which is commonly 18, but it varies from state to state. As a juvenile, a child cannot be made to face a prosecutor in the same way an adult would. Hiring an experienced lawyer for juvenile near you is an important step to take to ensure that your child’s rights are adequately defended and protected during this trying time.
A juvenile lawyer is a defense attorney that is specialized in criminal law, particularly in relation to juvenile cases. The lawyer will have extensive experience in practicing criminal law, especially in dealing with juvenile crimes. They will likely also have special training in counseling, social work, and mediation relating to juvenile court proceedings.
The primary aim of a juvenile defense attorney is to represent minors who have allegedly committed or have been convicted of a criminal offense. Your juvenile attorney will explain juvenile rights and certain protections to you and your child and help with navigating the juvenile court proceedings, processes, and the juvenile justice system. Your attorney will advise you as to whether all of the requirements have been met by the officers involved in your child’s arrest, be present at the disposition hearing and advocate on your behalf, and ensure that your child’s records are sealed at the close of the case. The duties of your juvenile attorney will vary depending on your particular case, but the best interests of your child should always be paramount.
Juvenile criminal cases are time-sensitive, as the majority are processed relatively quickly. You should consider hiring a juvenile attorney near you if you are facing any of the following circumstances:
The above list represents common situations when people typically seek to engage the services of a juvenile attorney. There are also other circumstances where consulting an attorney may be useful. You should always seek out the best defense attorney near you as quickly as possible because, in most cases, the consequences of hiring the wrong defense attorney can be detrimental to your child.
Hiring the best juvenile lawyers near you is an essential part of providing your child with the defense they need. An inadequate defense can lead to dire consequences for your ward, and although time is of the essence, you should carefully consider the following important factors before hiring a juvenile attorney near you:
There is also a range of other factors to consider before hiring the best juvenile lawyer near you. Those listed above are just some of the main factors to take into account to ensure you avoid any dire consequences that your child may otherwise face as a result of having an inadequate defense.
Legal fees range, on average, from $1,500 to $2500 and can increase to between $3000 and $10,000 depending on the particulars of your case. It is always advisable to ask your defense attorney if it is possible for them to provide you with a fixed fee or an estimate of the overall costs of your case. This will help you to plan for these costs or hire a different attorney that better fits your budget while still providing you with a competent defense.
It is not uncommon for juvenile attorneys near you to charge for an initial consultation. The attorney may charge their standard hourly rate, or they may charge you a flat rate as the consultation fee. The cost varies depending on which law firm you engage. Make sure to enquire about costs before going in for an initial consultation with an attorney.
Juvenile records are not automatically sealed. This depends on the circumstances of the case and the applicable state laws. In some states, whether or not records are sealed is left to the discretion of the courts. You should consult a lawyer for a juvenile near you to find out if your child’s records can be sealed upon conviction.
If a child is charged with a serious juvenile offense, they are usually put into a juvenile defense center and cannot be released until their case is heard.
In most states, if a child is charged with an offense, they can be transferred to an adult court either automatically or at the discretion of the judge, depending on the type of felony involved. In most states, the child will automatically be transferred by the judge to be tried as an adult if the offense is either a type A or B offense.