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A Guide to Criminal Defense for Juveniles & their Parents

ByDave Stopher

Jun 5, 2022

Most adults, let alone minors do not know what to anticipate when brought before the legal system. Because of their lack of life experience, both a child and their parents may feel completely helpless when faced with a juvenile trial. Upon hearing that their child has been arrested, some parents will go into very protective mode. In contrast, others may become upset with the child, the authorities, or anybody else involved in the matter.

Understandably, you want what’s best for our children in every way. When your child is convicted of a crime, it can be horrifying. You are curious as to what will become of them in the future. Will they be sent to jail or a facility for juveniles? It would be best to approach this case with the utmost seriousness since any criminal allegation made against a kid might have significant repercussions for their future. Many different approaches can be taken to lessen the impacts. You will need the assistance of a Raleigh Juvenile Defense Attorney who is both knowledgeable and experienced to navigate these dangerous waters successfully and secure the best possible outcome for your child.

What is Juvenile Court?

The judicial system, known as the “juvenile court,” is the one that hears and decides cases involving minors who are accused of being disobedient or lawbreakers. It is referred to as a “delinquent act” when a youngster engages in behavior that would be deemed a criminal offense if done by an adult. They are deemed “undisciplined” when they engage in inappropriate behavior for teenagers, but this does not amount to a criminal offense. Some examples of this behavior include running away from home or skipping school. Juvenile courts can judge children as delinquent or undisciplined, and those courts can then impose sanctions on the children intended to rehabilitate them rather than punish them. The proceedings will be less formal and more protective of the defendant than a typical criminal trial would be. With the right Raleigh Juvenile Defense Lawyer at your side, you can protect your child from the worst possible consequences possible.

What Does Bring a “Juvenile” Entail?

According to the laws, the term “juvenile” refers to any individual under 18 who is not married, emancipated, or in the armed forces. A minor who commits an offense that would be considered a criminal if an adult did it and at least six years old but less than 18 years old is considered a “delinquent juvenile,” except for 16- and 17-year-olds who commit offenses involving motor vehicle accidents. On the other hand, the juvenile court can only hear cases involving children and teenagers being investigated for delinquency or lack of discipline.

The term “undisciplined juvenile” refers to a child who is at least six years old but is younger than eighteen and is not under the disciplinary control of a parent or guardian. These kids are regularly found in places where it is unlawful for children to be or have run away from home for more than twenty-four hours. This definition applies to children who have run away from home for more than twenty-four hours. If a youngster under 16 is habitually absent from school without a valid excuse, the child may be categorized as an “undisciplined juvenile.”

The Role of a Parent When their Child is Accused

It can be a traumatic time for the child who is involved, but it can also be a terrible time for the child’s family if the youngster is involved in the juvenile court system. Although the child is provided with an attorney to protect their legal interests, the attorney does not work for the entire family and is not permitted to do so by the law. However, this does not imply that families and counsel for the defense need to be at war with one another. In fact, there are various ways in which the attorney representing the child’s case can assist the family in comprehending the legal process and instruct family members on how to advocate for their children. When they band together, advocates for children and their families frequently become a formidable force on their behalf.

Hiring a Qualified Juvenile Attorney

In actions brought before the juvenile court, it does not matter if the child in question is said to be undisciplined or delinquent; they all have the right to be represented by an attorney. On the other hand, the only minors who are eligible to have an attorney chosen by the court and paid for by the state are those who are suspected of engaging in criminal behavior. Parents who can pay may be required to compensate the state for the council’s costs. It is also an option for parents to have their children represented by a private attorney they hire in juvenile court.

The kid will hear from their attorney about the juvenile court process and their choices. The attorney will provide the juvenile with assistance in determining how to proceed with the case. Still, the juvenile ultimately must choose whether or not to confess guilt, request a hearing, or speak at a hearing. The attorney is obligated to keep the juvenile’s conversations confidential and must follow the directions given to them by the juvenile rather than the parent when managing the case. Due to this factor, attorneys typically conduct consultations with minor clients without the client’s parents or legal guardians.

Tips for Parents

When a parent witnesses their child’s arrest for a crime, it can be difficult for them to cope with the situation. You can be frustrated either with the child’s behavior or how the authorities treat your youngster. To prevent your emotions from taking control of the situation, you should give your attorney the responsibility of interacting with the relevant authorities. Remember to keep a calm mind and show proper deference to those around you.

Our firm’s juvenile lawyers are responsible for looking out for the best interests of their underage clients involved in the juvenile justice system. They will also assist these clients in navigating what is frequently a perplexing and frightening aspect of the legal system. Contact us right away if your child has been accused of committing any criminal activity. This will allow us to discuss the various legal options available to you and help you make an informed decision.