Teenagers tend to take more risks than the average adult. Typically, their actions are harmless and have no severe consequences. However, if the police accuse your child of committing a criminal offense, you should retain an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.
Law enforcement prosecutes minor children through the juvenile justice system, which differs from its adult counterpart. These courts typically focus on rehabilitation, but a child could still face steep penalties following a conviction. A Papillion juvenile defense lawyer can fight the allegations your child is facing and pursue a favorable outcome.
What Are the Differences Between Juvenile and Adult Court?
There are many key differences between the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. The adult system exists to punish individuals and deter them from committing similar crimes in the future. Conversely, the juvenile system attempts to rehabilitate youths. There are also several technical differences between these two systems.
Adults have the right to a jury trial while minors do not. A judge will always decide the outcome of a case in juvenile court. These courts also use different terminology. The adult court refers to offenses as crimes, whereas the juvenile court calls them delinquent acts.
By learning about these differences, you and your child can begin to understand what to expect in a hearing. A defense lawyer can provide you with more information about how the juvenile justice system works in Papillion.
Common Delinquent Acts Addressed in the Juvenile Justice System
There are certain delinquent acts that juvenile courts handle often. Judges regularly hear cases involving possession of alcohol, vandalism, and petty theft. That said, the state can also pursue serious offenses against minors, such as:
- Sexual assault
If your teenager is facing criminal charges in Papillion, you should get legal help from a skilled attorney who understands both justice systems. Juvenile court is very different from adult court, but our attorneys at Berry Law have experience guiding families through this complex process.
Potential Long-Term Consequences for Minors in Papillion
Many children do not face the same long-term consequences that adults do after a criminal conviction. In some cases, you can eventually expunge the records of a juvenile conviction. While this seals the records from public view, law enforcement retains access to these records. In some cases, expunging the child’s record is not an option. Juveniles facing serious felony charges could also face consequences much later in life.
What is the Three Strikes Law?
In Papillion, the court uses the “three strikes” law when sentencing individuals for felony offenses. After three felony convictions, a person will face substantially steeper penalties. The court can use a juvenile felony conviction as one of those three strikes. To avoid getting this point, you and your family should retain a defense attorney and build an aggressive defense against your child’s charges.
Talk to a Papillion Juvenile Defense Attorney Today
If law enforcement arrested your child, it is crucial that you obtain legal counsel right away. With a determined attorney working on the case, your child could avoid harsh long-term consequences. Let a Papillion juvenile defense lawyer assist your family during this challenging time. Call Berry Law right away to schedule a confidential consultation.