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Juvenile Crimes

Criminal offenses committed by juveniles, which are defined as individuals under 18 years of age, are heard in juvenile court. Juvenile court is typically located in the county courthouse but the procedure is much different than regular adult court.

In adult court, the primary focus is punishment of the individual for the crimes committed. Such punishment includes fines, probation, and/or jail time. In juvenile court, the focus is not on punishment but rather rehabilitation of the juvenile. If an individual is found to be delinquent, which is the equivalent of guilty in adult court, the focus will be on how to keep the juvenile from reoffending by offering treatment, counseling, and probation. For more serious offenses, or for multiple offenders, placement is possible in a juvenile facility.

While the standard is the same as an adult court, meaning proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that is where the similarity ends. Unlike adult court, a juvenile does not plead guilty but instead is “adjudicated delinquent”. There are also many different programs available designed to help the juvenile such as mental health treatment, drug treatment, first time offender programs, etc. Once a juvenile turns 18, he is now an adult in the eyes of the law and any crimes committed after 18 would be held in adult criminal court.

If a juvenile was found delinquent, it would appear on his criminal history, aka rap sheet which could affect schooling, future emoloyment and other aspects of life. Expungement of the criminal record as possible after the juvenile turns 21 and is no longer on juvenile probation.

If you were charged with a juvenile crime it is best to retain an experience local criminal defense attorney to assist, as local attorneys are more familiar with local programs and tend to have a better relationship with the prosecution and with the probation department. If you cannot afford a private attorney, most counties will appoint a public defender for free to represent the juvenile.

Client Reviews
Ellis Klein is a terrific attorney who represented my son in a DUI case. Ellis was understanding and sympathetic yet very forthright regarding the seriousness of the issue. He was extremely knowledgeable of the process and kept us informed at every step. He had a very professional presence, was confident (but not arrogant) and kept us calm throughout a very traumatic situation. He was a critical factor in my son receiving the best possible outcome from this DUI event. John Doe
Recently Mr. Klein helped me out with a criminal charge in which the outcome was the best possible situation for me. Ellis worked with me as far as a payment plan, knew the judge and officer and I couldn't ask for anything more out of a lawyer. I'm very happy with his performance and would recommend him to anyone. Jane Doe
Ellis literally gave me a new lease on life. I was facing a DUI, which would have affected my livelihood, my freedom and would have left me with a criminal record. Mr. Klein was able to have all the evidence suppressed by challenging the officer's cause for pulling me over. He was very thorough, leaving no stone unturned. His demeanor in court was confident and knowledgeable. He saved my reputation and my family from facing serious economic hardship. Thank You Anonymous
Ellis Klein served as my lawyer in a very difficult case that I was facing and with his help, the outcome of my case turned out wonderful. Mr. Klein helped me very much with his knowledge of my case. Thanks Ellis! Anonymous
Like many young adults, I made a bad decision that resulted in very serious consequences. I was afraid and nervous. Ellis was very straight-forward when he explained things to me, telling what the best outcome could be as well as the worst. Through his knowledge, professionalism, and legal reputation, my case was resolved with the best possible outcome. I advise my friends not to make the same mistake that I did, but if they do I will highly recommend Ellis. I feel like I have been given a second chance. Anonymous