Reliable Defense Attorneys Assist with Juvenile Offenses
The term “juvenile crime” is a bit of a misnomer, since the juvenile court system is not a criminal proceeding. The emphasis is on rehabilitation rather than punishment. However, you should not confuse a juvenile hearing with a counseling session. If your child is adjudicated a delinquent, the result could be detention in a juvenile facility. It would be a mistake to assume that the court, managing an overloaded docket, can give the appropriate attention to every aspect of your child’s case, unless a strong advocate speaks for your child. At The Stallings Law Group, P.C. , our juvenile defense attorneys fight for your child’s rights by making a compelling case for a favorable result.
Alternative to juvenile detention in Virginia
The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice has many options for youthful offenders that allow troubled teens to avoid detention. These include:
- Court referrals that divert the case from justice to social services
- Sanctions that avoid detention, such as warnings, restitution, fines, community service, or the suspension or delay in issuance of driver’s license
- Orders to participate in counseling or drug treatment programs
- Teen court adjudication
Our attorneys work with you and the court to arrive at a disposition that suits your child’s immediate and long-term needs. We even assist with appeals after dispositional hearings when a court’s order is inappropriate.
When a child is tried as an adult in Virginia
Some offenses are so serious that the authorities must bring criminal charges even against a youth. As long as the alleged offender is at least 14 years of age, he or she can be tried in state court as an adult and is liable for the full measure of adult punishment. In such cases, the juvenile court holds a transfer hearing to consider evidence and determine whether to retain jurisdiction or refer the matter to the appropriate circuit court. Criteria that the juvenile court judge must weigh include:
- Whether the youth can remain in the juvenile system long enough to benefit from its rehabilitative efforts
- Whether services within the juvenile system are appropriate or available to address the youth’s needs
- The alleged offender’s mental and emotional maturity
Our lawyers share your concern that your child gets appropriate treatment from the juvenile court. We work diligently to ensure that the court is aware of all facts that it should weigh in your child’s favor.
Contact our juvenile defense attorneys in Virginia Beach
If your child is embroiled in the juvenile justice system, you want a fierce advocate providing legal support. The defense attorneys at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. have the knowledge, skill and experience to make a compelling case on your child’s behalf. Call 757-325-9128 to schedule a free 30 minute consultation or contact our office online.