Weirton Juvenile Law Attorney
Experienced Legal Team Serving Clients across West Virginia & Ohio
Teenagers are prone to making mistakes and having lapses of judgment. As you will surely attest, no child is perfect. However, when they mess up and have run-ins with the law, whether because of drugs, alcohol, or some other crime-related activity, they should be treated in a manner that is most conducive to their rehabilitation. On the other hand, there are those kids who hang out with the wrong crowd or are in the wrong situation at the wrong time and get falsely accused.
If your child has been charged with or arrested for a crime, it can lead to several severe consequences. Our Weirton juvenile law attorney is here to help protect your son or daughter’s rights and limit the impact that these charges have on their future. We have more than 25 years of criminal defense experience, and we have the knowledge and skills to defend against all types of allegations.
Understanding the Juvenile Justice System
When an individual under the age of 18 is accused of committing a delinquent or criminal act, they are usually processed through the juvenile justice system. There are several similarities between the juvenile system and the adult criminal justice system. Both processes can include arrest and detainment, petitions, hearings, adjudications, and dispositions, as well as placement, probation, and reentry. However, there are also significant differences.
In Ohio and West Virginia, the juvenile justice system is centered on rehabilitation, rather than punishment. Therefore, instead of immediately resorting to severe penalties like fines and jail time, as in the adult justice system, the court seeks to treat and rehabilitate juvenile offenders. The judge’s orders are to contain corrective measures designed to help the young person cope with their problems and deter them from future delinquent behavior.
According to state legislature, the goals of the juvenile justice system include:
- Maintaining public safety
- Promoting skill development of the alleged offender
- Rehabilitation of the accused individual
- Addressing treatment needs of the youth
- Successful reintegration of the juvenile into the community
In some cases, the court may wish to have the youth’s case handled by the adult criminal court. This typically occurs when the alleged offense is particularly severe or when the youth has almost reached the age of 18. In this scenario, our legal team generally petitions to keep the child’s case in juvenile court to avoid the harsh penalties of the adult court.
Consequences for Juvenile Offenders
Although the goal of the Juvenile justice system is rehabilitation, offenders can still face some severe consequences that can have a drastic impact on their life.
The potential penalties for a juvenile crime include:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Community service
- House arrest
- Placement in a detention facility
- Drug or alcohol treatment
In addition, those convicted of a juvenile crime may have a harder time getting accepted into colleges, obtaining federal financial aid, and being eligible for certain types of housing and employment. For the sake of your child’s future, it is important to get a legal advocate on your side who can fight to get the charges dropped or at least reduced.
Call Isla Law Offices Today
Do not leave your child’s future in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer. Turn to the Weirton juvenile crime attorney at Isla Law Offices. Attorney Roger A. Isla has extensive experience defending young people in a range of cases, including DUI, assault, underage drinking, vandalism, domestic violence, and more.
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