While it’s scary when a child is detained or arrested, it’s important to understand the handling of juvenile delinquency offenses to grasp what’s going on. There are many legal angles and potential outcomes for a case, and a criminal law attorney can help you navigate them. The team at Scott & Heenan LLC in Platteville, WI, advises you to seek legal counsel immediately if your child is facing charges because having expert assistance will impact the outcome significantly.
In most states, an offender under age 18 qualifies as a juvenile; however, the age limit in Wisconsin is under 17 in most cases. This is important because offenses by juvenile defendants aren’t handled the same way as adult crimes.
In many instances, minors are issued a warning or released to their parents. However, charges can be filed for serious or repeat offenses, and they can be formal or informal, depending on the circumstances. For informal cases, the juvenile will appear before a judge and, while no charges will be filed to their criminal record, punishments such as counseling, fines, and community service work are likely to be issued. For formal juvenile delinquency cases, the offender will be charged with a crime.
Only the most severe crimes, such as rape or murder, lead to a juvenile being tried in adult court. For lesser offenses that require a formal legal process, the juvenile must appear in court but typically is allowed to remain in their parents’ custody until then. It’s crucial to have an attorney in court because they might persuade a judge to dismiss the charges if they cannot be proven. Charges also could be reduced if a minor is facing time in a detention center or mental health clinic. The juvenile delinquency system’s goal often is to avoid incarceration, but you should never downplay the severity of minor crimes.
If your child is facing juvenile delinquency charges, contact Scott & Heenan LLC in Platteville, WI. They have experienced criminal law attorneys who will work with you on a personal level to achieve the best possible outcome. Call (608) 348-9506 to schedule a consultation, and visit their website to learn more about their practice areas, including criminal defense and personal injury law. Like them on Facebook for updates from the firm.