Getting charged with a crime at any age can be devastating; but being charged as a youth offender can be terrifying for both the alleged offender and the child’s loved ones. As a child, you may be afraid of the impact a conviction will have on your family, school, personal life and future. As a parent, you want nothing more than to protect your loved one and ensure that his or her rights are well protected.
The juvenile justice systems has enacted procedures to ensure that children can be released into the care of their parents whenever possible. However, this may not always be the case. Convicted juveniles can face sentences including any of the following:
- Mandatory detention
- Rehabilitation treatment
- Special educational services
- Mandatory counseling
If your child was charged with a crime, you should take every step possible to protect his or her legal rights. This starts with hiring the right Fresno criminal defense attorney.
What Is a “Juvenile Crime”?
There is only one thing that makes a crime uniquely “juvenile” – the age of the alleged offender at the time the crime was committed. Under California law, qualified children over 14 years of age can be tried in the adult justice system for serious crimes. Serious crimes are those that are particularly violent in nature, such as murder, domestic violence, rape, or serious weapons charges.
Juvenile courts are separate from the criminal justice system. These courts do not generally involve an adjudication of guilt or innocence. Nevertheless, if a youth engages in adult behavior that is against the law, he or she will face the adult consequences.
The Effect of a Juvenile Record In Adult Years
The concept of “what you do as a child will haunt you as an adult” definitely applies to juvenile convictions. A juvenile criminal record can inhibit your personal and professional growth. The good news is that many juvenile offenses are eligible for expungement. An expungement allows you to seal or remove your criminal records from databases that may otherwise compromise your background checks.
If you were charged with a crime as a child and you are now an adult who has reached the end of your probationary period, you may be eligible for an expungement to erase your juvenile criminal record. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, an expungement can allow you to turn your life around and provide you with a clean slate going forward.
Call an Experienced Fresno Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney
If your child or a young individual that you care about has been arrested for a crime, it is imperative that you immediately hire an experienced criminal juvenile defense attorney to help protect your legal rights and ensure that you have the best defense possible to avoid a criminal conviction.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Fresno criminal juvenile defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.