It’s a stressful situation whenever your child is charged with a crime. Many juvenile offenses are relatively minor, but you may still want to consult with a criminal defense attorney to get the best possible outcome for your child’s case.
Common Juvenile Offenses
All of the following are common offenses of minors:
- Crimes involving alcohol, including underage consumption, purchase, or distribution to other children
- Using a fake ID to try to purchase alcohol
- Breaking and entering
- Breaking curfew laws
- Marijuana possession and paraphernalia
- Petty theft, such as stealing items from a retail store
- Criminal mischief or vandalism
- Reckless driving
- Assault and battery
If your child is charged with any of these crimes and you aren’t sure what to do, talk to a criminal defense lawyer.
Juvenile Justice System
Many juvenile cases are handled differently than adult criminal cases. Rehabilitation is often a primary goal, and alternative sentences may be used, such as:
- Community service
- Restitution to the damaged party
- Diversion programs
Some cases don’t even proceed to court. If it is your child’s first offense and the crime is not serious, the court may not even hear the case.
Juvenile criminal records are also different than adult criminal records. They won’t be visible in a typical criminal background check.
Lastly, there is a new law in North Carolina regarding how 16- and 17-year-olds are tried in the justice system. As of 2019, North Carolina will now charge these offenders as children rather than adults. This law gives these teenagers more opportunities to receive rehabilitation and alternative sentencing that is offered in the juvenile justice system.
Tips for Parents
It’s hard for a parent to handle seeing their child arrested for a crime. You may be disappointed with the child or upset with how the police are treating your kid. The important thing is to remain calm and respectful at all times. Let your attorney handle communicating with the authorities so that your emotions don’t get the best of you.
Contact a North Carolina or South Carolina criminal defense attorney for help with juvenile criminal cases.
King Law handles criminal defense matters in North and South Carolina, drug possession, DWI, and theft cases. Call 888-748-KING (5464) or complete the consultation request form today and set up a consultation with one of our dedicated criminal defense attorneys.