Raleigh Juvenile Offense and Juvenile Crimes Lawyer
Childhood is a time where mistakes are par for the course, but sometimes kids take a left turn and end up in dangerous territory that can negatively impact the rest of their lives. Whether your child or adolescent was negatively influenced by peer pressure into making a single mistake or has shown a tendency toward becoming delinquent, if he or she is between the ages of 6 and 15 and has been charged with a crime, you need a juvenile crimes lawyer who specializes in helping young people.
What Is a Juvenile Crime?
Juvenile crimes include any misdemeanor and most felonies that are committed by a minor between 6 and 15. This includes crimes that are specific to minors (such as truancy and curfew violations) as well as crimes that can be committed by adults (such as theft and assault). Some of the most common juvenile crimes include shoplifting, vandalism, simple assault, underage drinking, drug possession, and truancy, although minors can and have committed any crime. As a long-time juvenile crimes lawyer serving Raleigh on the surrounding communities, Dewey Brinkley has experience handling all types of juvenile offenses, from traffic violations to first degree criminal sexual conduct.
What Is the Juvenile Justice Process?
Unlike the criminal justice system, where the goal is punishment that fits the crime, the goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation that prevents further crime. When a minor is charged as a juvenile, he will not have a trial by jury or be subject to the same sentences that are prescribed for adult offenders, such as mandatory prison time or hefty fines. However, this does not mean he has no need for an attorney.
Just like in an adult jury trial, the evidence brought against him will be weighed by the judge to determine whether he is delinquent (guilty) or innocent at an adjudication hearing. It is very important to remember that just because the accused is a minor does not mean he has no Constitutional rights. All citizens, regardless of age, have the right to an attorney who can argue their cases before the court and fight for the best possible resolution, whether this is proving the minor’s innocence or fighting for a more appropriate sentence, such as community service or counseling in lieu of juvenile hall.
What Are the Penalty Options?
If a juvenile is pronounced delinquent at an adjudication hearing, he will need to attend a later dispositional hearing to hear his sentence (called a “disposition). When most people think of juvenile court, they think of either probation or juvenile hall; however, there are many other options that your attorney can fight to obtain. Depending on the severity of the crime and the circumstances surrounding it, your child could receive:
- A verbal warning
- A fine
- Required counseling
- Community service
- Electronic monitoring
- House arrest
- Placement into another home or foster care
- Commitment to a Youth Development Center
- Juvenile and adult jail (“blended sentence”)
Will My Child Automatically Be Tried As a Juvenile?
Although minor offenses are almost always in juvenile court, being charged as a juvenile is a privilege, not a right. At the court’s discretion, a minor may be tried as an adult for violent crimes or as a result of numerous repeat offenses. Sexual crimes, crimes involving a weapon, and offenses involving a loss of life are especially prone to being elevated to adult court. The most important thing you can do if you or your child have been accused of a serious crime is to call a juvenile attorney right away who can work to keep your case out of the adult system.
Raleigh Juvenile Court Details
Juvenile adjudication and dispositional hearings are held at the Wake County Justice Center in downtown Raleigh.
300 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27601
Click on the map below for directions:
We strongly encourage you not to walk into the courtroom alone. A juvenile crimes attorney can help ensure that your case gets heard in juvenile court, present the evidence in your favor, argue your case, and work for a reasonable sentence. Call Dewey Brinkley today to talk about your case at (919) 832-0307.