Even if your child is under 18 years old, any criminal allegations can have a significant impact on their future. They may lose access to professional opportunities or face detention in a youth confinement center or youth rehabilitation and treatment center. A criminal conviction could be detrimental to your child’s career.
Fortunately, minors facing criminal charges have many of the same rights as adults, including the right to retain a defense attorney. If you or your child are dealing with criminal allegations, a La Vista juvenile defense lawyer can help you fight the charges.
Common Juvenile Offenses in La Vista
Minors who are accused of committing criminal offenses are not tried in the typical courts. As stated in Nebraska Revised Statutes §43-247, juvenile courts have jurisdiction when a minor aged 11 years or older allegedly commits a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense, or a traffic infraction. These courts also have jurisdiction over homeless children, children of abusive or neglectful parents, and children who are “uncontrolled” by their parents due to extensive wayward and truant behavior.
Juvenile court cases may begin with a third-party report to Child Protective Services (CPS), a police investigation, or an arrest at the scene of an alleged offense. Some of the most common juvenile cases defense attorneys handle include:
- Truancy from school
- Underage drinking
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Minor in possession of controlled substances, including unlawful possession of prescription drugs
- Shoplifting and other theft charges
Regardless of the specific charge, it is crucial to seek legal counsel and begin building your defense immediately.
The Potential Consequences of a Criminal Offense
Many people assume that all minors involved in criminal activity will have to spend time in a detention or rehabilitation center. However, this is an uncommon outcome for juvenile court cases. Neb. Rev. Stat. §43-251.01 states that courts will only order detention if the child showed a “demonstrable record of willful failure to appear” for previous court hearings within the previous year. The court may also place a child in juvenile detention to protect the community from serious harm.
Furthermore, a guilty finding in juvenile court results in an adjudication rather than a conviction. An adjudicated minor would have a juvenile record rather than a criminal one. Though a juvenile record may not seem serious, minors may have to disclose their records on job applications, college applications, and housing background checks.
If your child is facing allegations in juvenile court, a determined defense attorney can help you safeguard their future. In the event that the court finds your child guilty, a lawyer can also help you seal their juvenile record after completing probation.
Speak with a La Vista Juvenile Defense Attorney Today
Finding out that your child is facing criminal allegations in juvenile court can be shocking. Talking to an attorney about your legal options and the hearing process can put you in a better position to achieve a positive outcome to your case. Contact Berry Law right away to schedule a confidential consultation with a La Vista juvenile defense lawyer.