Are you the parent of an underage child accused of a crime and wondering if you should hire a juvenile crimes defense attorney? Having a child enter the juvenile justice system can be frightening to say the least. As a parent, you worry how your child will be treated, if your child will be housed with adult prisoners, and what the road ahead holds not just for your child, but for your entire family. No matter the crime—from juvenile theft crimes to drug possession and juvenile DUI—the Jardine Law Offices and our juvenile crimes defense attorney can help. We have a deep knowledge of the juvenile court system and the complexities surrounding juvenile crimes and have a history of advocating for underage offenders. Contact us as soon as possible following your child’s arrest so that we can help formulate your child’s defense.
Juvenile crimes can range from minor to severe. Juvenile crimes tend to fall into three categories: status crimes, property crimes, and violent crimes. We’ll be focusing on the latter two, as status offenses are considered minor and don’t usually result in serious penalties.
Property crimes might seem petty, but they can land your child into a heap of trouble. Property crimes include things like burglary, theft, larceny, vandalism, and arson.
Violent crimes can range from offenses such as robbery to murder. Aggravated assault and forced rape fall into this category. Nearly a quarter of all violent crimes in the U.S. are committed by individuals under the age of 18, with the majority of violent crimes occurring between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., coinciding with the hours of the day when school lets out. Boys make up over 80 percent of arrests for violent crimes committed by juveniles, resulting in a higher incarceration rate and more boys being “in the system” than girls, overall.
Penalties for juvenile offenders tend to depend on the type of offense that was committed, as well as how many offenses the minor has already committed. A first time offense for, say, vandalism, might result with your child getting off with just a slap on the wrist – but you shouldn’t rely on that. The Juvenile Court of Utah might place them on probation, or sentence them to live in a group home, or, in serious cases, juvenile jail. In cases where the crime isn’t the child’s first offense, the penalty might be harsher. And in cases where forcible rape or murder have been committed, the court may decide that your child is old enough to be tried as an adult, which, in a worst-case-scenario, could lead to a life sentence in prison.
If your child is facing a juvenile charge, the consequences can be quite significant and far-reaching. A conviction on a drug offense, for example, can impact your child’s ability to go to the college he wants to attend or receive financial aid or scholarships he needs to pay for it. Your child may face driver’s license forfeiture, fines, and probation. In worst-case scenarios for serious offenses, your child may charged as an adult and face adult penalties if convicted. Reach out to our juvenile crimes defense attorney now to arrange a no-cost consultation to review your child’s case.