When you have children, you do what you can to make sure that they make good choices. However, they are their own people, and they will make their own choices and their own mistakes. Sometimes that means that they are going to end up getting in trouble with the law. If that happens, you want to do what you can to help your child. In this case, making sure that they have an attorney can help them fight in court. You want to work with an attorney who works with juvenile criminal law because there are differences between how juveniles are tried and how adults are tried.
Trial vs. Adjudication
One big difference is what the legal process is called. With a juvenile, the process is called an adjudication instead of a trial. They are basically the same process, but a trial involves a jury of the accused's peers, and the jury is in charge of deciding guilt or innocence. There is no jury at an adjudication, and the only person making the decision is the judge. That can be both a good and bad thing. It's a good thing in that the judge will be familiar with the laws and how they affect your child's case, and the lawyer only has to convince one person of your child's innocence. It can be a bad thing because, with a jury, you can get more opinions to weigh against each other.
Relaxed Rules of Evidence
There are strict rules of evidence that control what can and can't be entered in an adult court, but they are lowered when it comes to a juvenile court. There will still be rules over what your child's defense lawyer can and cannot enter into the record. Still, they will have more leeway, which will help your child out in the long run since the attorney may be able to get evidence onto the record that might not have been allowed otherwise.
If your child has been arrested, you want to provide as much help as possible. One way to do that is to hire an attorney who is familiar with juvenile defense law. They will be able to guide your child and your family along the path of the justice system and hopefully get a positive disposition for your child. You want an expert in these cases because trying to figure out a new way to deal with the courts during your child's adjudication may not be in their best interest.
To learn more, contact a juvenile criminal lawyer.Share