Juvenile Defense in Denton, Cooke, & Wise
A juvenile crime conviction can have the most devastating effect on your child’s future, freedom, and life. It can make securing a job or entry into a good school nearly impossible. Conviction of a crime as a minor can also seriously impact the consequences of another criminal charge later in life, greatly increasing the possibility of an elevated punishment. Regardless of how minor or extreme the allegation is against your child, it is imperative that you seek the guidance, advice, and assistance of a knowledgeable defense attorney as quickly as possible.
Protecting Your Child’s Rights
Children’s rights must be fiercely protected throughout the entire legal process. You need a defense attorney who understands the differences between the juvenile and the adult justice systems. Paige McCormick can help defend those accused of juvenile crimes all over Denton County and throughout North Texas in charges like:
- Sexual assault
- Underage alcohol consumption
- Drug possession
What Happens When Your Child Is Charged with a Juvenile Offense
It’s important that you the parent understand if the charges against your child are going to be a felony or misdemeanor. Expect to be summoned to court in both cases, as failing to do so is considered a misdemeanor on the part of the parent.
The juvenile system is different than the adult court system. Juveniles are not usually charged with a specific crime the way an adult would be. Instead, they will be charged with delinquent behavior. When a child is put into the juvenile court system, the question is not how they will be punished, but how the court system will be able to find a suitable way to rehabilitate the juvenile in question.
Thus, it plays by different rules and places it’s focus on down whatever is in the best interest of the child’s rehabilitation. This is why it’s important to know if the charges will be a misdemeanor or felony. The more serious the charges, the greater the chance the system will deem the juvenile should be tried as an adult. If they feel this may be appropriate, there will be a “transfer hearing” where the court determines whether or not the crimes the juvenile stands accused of indeed warrant the severity of trying them as an adult.
The Basic Process of the Juvenile Court System
If, on the other hand, the charges are handled by the juvenile court system, the process will proceed a bit differently than the adult system. Here is a very streamlined outline of the process:
- Filing of the petition – a law enforcement agent will investigate the circumstances of the charges including interviewing those involved to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to proceed with a case. If there is enough evidence, the agent will forward their findings to the probation office and district attorney. The district attorney will then investigate further and file the petition.
- Intake – Depending on the circumstances of the case and the history of the juvenile, they may either be kept in a juvenile detention center until a detention hearing can be held or released to serve probation under the custody of their parents on the condition they agree to things like counseling and community service.
- Adjudication – If the charges are serious enough to warrant being kept in the detention center, a hearing will be held where the juvenile must stand before the court and either admit or deny the allegation. If admitted, sentencing happens at that time. If not, an adjudication will take place where evidence will be presented on both sides.
- Disposition – After the adjudication hearing, a disposition is held to determine the appropriate penalties for the offenses that the juvenile was found guilty of committing.
Paige McCormick Has Years Of Experience Helping Juveniles
In a juvenile case, a judge will review the evidence against a minor and deliver a verdict based on his or her interpretation of the evidence. However, depending on the gravity of the crime in question, in severe cases, the offending minor can be “certified” and prosecuted as an adult. Either way, it is imperative that you have a convincing, knowledgeable, qualified, and experienced attorney on your side. Paige McCormick understands that kids make mistakes and that it’s the responsibility of parents to protect. She will zealously defend your child from the negative consequences of a juvenile conviction and protect their rights, interest, and future to the best of his ability.
Call today for your free consultation. The law firm of Paige McCormick serves clients in Denton, Cooke, & Wise Counties.