Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyers Serving O’Fallon, St. Charles County, and the Surrounding Counties
Suddarth and Koor, LLC knows the juvenile justice system works a little differently than the adult criminal justice system. When an adult violates a criminal statute or commits a criminal traffic offense, he or she is charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the offense. The penalties for a conviction are defined in statutes, and usually include jail time and fines, or one or the other.
When a juvenile commits acts that violate a law, instead of being charged with a crime, typically what happens is that a petition for delinquency is filed. The delinquency process in many ways functions similarly to the adult criminal process. The juvenile goes through a process of either admitting or denying the offense, and there is a phase in which evidence and testimony is presented as to the juvenile’s guilt or innocence of the offense.
The potential of these outcomes can be frightening both for a juvenile and for a parent or guardian. At Suddarth and Koor, LLC the goal of any outcome should be to protect the best interests of juvenile while also balancing the interests and safety of the public and society. It’s important for the juvenile to have a skilled and compassionate juvenile defense lawyer through the process to ensure that his or her interests are represented and that a strong voice is speaking on his or her behalf.
Some juvenile matters are similar to adult offenses, such as shoplifting, assault, and battery. Other offenses, like breaking curfew, are unique to juveniles. Most juvenile courts and rules try to focus on rehabilitating the juvenile and probation, as opposed to incarceration. If a case is severe enough, then the juvenile may be tried as an adult.