The State of Pennsylvania has a system in place for juveniles who are accused of committing criminal offenses. This system is separate and quite different from the criminal justice system for adults. If your child or a loved one is facing criminal charges as a juvenile, you are likely to need the services of a diligent defense attorney.
By engaging legal counsel to represent minors in juvenile court proceedings, you can ensure that the court system adequately protects their rights. Reach out to a seasoned Bucks County juvenile defense attorney to discuss your case and your legal options.
When law enforcement authorities accuse minors of committing a crime, they go through the juvenile court system, which prevents them from being placed in an adult prison. The one exception is for older teens who have committed severe offenses. In these cases, the judge may decide that the accused teens should be tried as adults, which puts them at risk of prison if convicted.
The purpose of the juvenile court system is to promote treatment, supervision, and rehabilitation rather than to dole out punishments. Even if the judge finds that the teens are guilty, their sentences typically contain access to resources that can assist them in becoming productive adult citizens. For instance, these resources might include counseling, medication, or other forms of medical treatment, educational opportunities, and substance abuse treatment.
Nonetheless, the outcome of juvenile court proceedings still can result in significant punishments, including juvenile detention, until a child is no longer a minor. This possibility makes it even more critical to ensure that minors in this situation have adequate legal representation. As a result, consulting a skilled juvenile defense lawyer in Bucks County to explore all available options may be wise.
A juvenile judge can remove teens from their homes and the custody of their parents. This can result in the minors being institutionalized in juvenile detention, mental health, or other treatment facilities for substantial amounts of time, or even until they turn 18. Even worse, these teenagers may not get the education, job training, or other resources that they need while incarcerated.
Unfortunately, the adverse consequences of juvenile court proceedings do not step there. A juvenile who has been in a juvenile detention facility may miss out on crucial opportunities. These opportunities can include participating in internships, getting jobs, or qualifying for financial aid or scholarships that would allow them to attend school. Trade schools, vocational programs, and colleges all may be out of reach for these individuals.
Furthermore, these minors may be unable to enlist in the military and ineligible for some careers due to their history. Long-term incarceration as juveniles can make it very difficult for these individuals to function in society once they become adults. Getting the advice of a juvenile defense attorney in Bucks County from the outset of any juvenile court proceedings may be highly beneficial.
Options for resolving juvenile court proceedings without incarceration in a juvenile detention facility may be a possibility, based on various factors. For example, juvenile courts may give parents a chance to supervise teens under specific restrictions while they remain at home before resorting to incarceration. You may be able to better explore your potential options by getting more information from a Bucks County juvenile defense lawyer.
The wellbeing of your teen should be paramount throughout any juvenile court proceedings. Not only do you need to ensure that their rights are protected, but you also need to sure that they are getting the full range of the care that they need. By getting the appropriate legal advice, you can put your teen in the best possible position to succeed. Call today to schedule a consultation.