Juvenile Law Lawyers | Guntersville Office | Serving Albertville, AL
416 Gunter Avenue, PO Box 88, Guntersville, AL 35976
Lead Counsel independently verifies Juvenile Law attorneys in Albertville and checks their standing with Alabama bar associations.Our Verification Process and Criteria
If your child is facing criminal charges, it is important to get the best legal representation possible because a criminal record will follow your child as each educational and employment opportunity becomes available. A juvenile attorney will be able to help your family seek a resolution that protects your child’s current best interests and their future prospects.
In terms of criminal law and the definitions surrounding juvenile offenses, most states and the federal government consider those who have not yet turned 18 years of age to be juveniles. Three states — Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin — instead restrict the protections afforded to juvenile offenders to those aged 16 or younger.
There is also a provision that allows those who are older than 18, but younger than 21, to claim legal juvenile status if they are being charged with an offense that was commissioned before the defendant attained the age of majority.
According to the Department of Justice, some of the most common offenses conducted by juvenile offenders include simple assault, disorderly conduct, drug-related crimes, weapons-related offenses, vandalism, liquor law violations and various forms of theft (burglary, automobile theft, etc.).
Juveniles are generally capable of committing any crime that an adult might. However, certain juvenile offenses (say, being in possession of alcohol) are offenses related strictly to the age of the individual in possession. Juvenile crime related to statutory rape (between two minors) can also be a form of offense that so-called “Romeo and Juliet” laws were enacted to combat.
Juveniles can be charged with any criminal offense; same as an adult, but their cases are usually handled in the Juvenile Courts. Some juvenile law charges include underage possession of alcohol, drug crimes, gang involvement, vandalism and juvenile DUI. Other juvenile law-related issues include disciplinary actions at school and foster care issues.
A juvenile lawyer can also provide direction for juveniles and their families to programs that will help the juvenile’s defense by minimizing the risk of the youth from re-offending and preventing future criminal behavior issues.
While juvenile offenders (or juvenile delinquents, if deemed so from a legal perspective) are afforded some protections (exempt from serving time in prison unless tried and convicted as an adult, for more serious offenses, where applicable) they do remain culpable for crimes committed.
A juvenile offender who is convicted could be facing court-order probation, mandatory counseling or therapy sessions, mandatory drug or alcohol rehabilitation, fines or monetary restitution, community service or even a term in detention (also termed “residence facilities”).
In situations where a juvenile is being tried as an adult, the sentencing is typically expected to match the severity of the crime. Despite the surprising frequency of this occurrence (generally for the most severe offenses, or for extreme incidences of repeat offenses), some such instances become high-profile cases with the attendant media exposure.
In order to be tried as an adult, juvenile offenders must be meted out a waiver to adult court. Most states require that a juvenile offender be the age of 16 (though some states have no age limit appended to more serious charges, such as murder) in order for such a waiver to be handed down by the court.
Reasons for a juvenile being tried as an adult include, but are not limited to: the commission of a very grave or serious offense such as rape or murder, the offender having a lengthy juvenile record or a number of failed rehabilitation attempts having been made in the past.
It is estimated that approximately 250,000 juvenile offenders are tried as adults, per year, in the United States.
As a result of several relatively recent Supreme Court decisions, juvenile offenders are not able to be sentenced to death, nor sentenced to life in prison without parole in response to any crime other than those related to homicide.
A juvenile crime lawyer or criminal defense attorney is familiar with established case law, past precedent, and current statutes surrounding juvenile delinquency. These attorneys specialize in defending juvenile clients facing charges and can help defendants to navigate the juvenile justice system.
All juveniles facing court due to alleged offenses are entitled to an attorney, regardless of their ability — or the ability of their parents or guardians — to pay. It is extremely important to secure adequate legal representation if you are facing charges as a juvenile. If found guilty of the offenses levied against you, depending on the severity of the charges, you could be placed in detention or even tried as an adult, as exhibited above.
The creation of a criminal record as a result of having been tried, and convicted, as an adult can be extremely damaging to any young man or woman. Therefore, it’s important to work with a criminal defense lawyer.
It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you’ve suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.
Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.