Being convicted of any type of crime is a serious offense, let alone if you are still a juvenile. While it is true that the juvenile justice system generally aims to rehabilitate juvenile offenders rather than punish them, this isn’t always a possibility. Oftentimes, juvenile crimes are remedied using alternative sentencing – such as community service, educational courses, and hefty fines. However, if the crime is serious and the juvenile has had past convictions, jail time may be the only answer.
When a minor is arrested for a crime, it is likely that the entire family will be affected. As parents, you are certainly wondering how your child’s future may turn out and how this crime will affect their ability to build a stable, successful life for themselves. You may also be asking yourself “should I hire an attorney?” The answer to this question is yes. Hiring an experienced juvenile crime attorney is one of the best things you can do for your child, as you will be taking steps towards ensuring your child’s rights and future will be protected.
Common Types of Juvenile Crimes
Before we dive a bit further into why you should consider hiring a juvenile defense attorney if your child has been accused of a crime, let’s look at a few of the most common types of juvenile crimes. In most cases, juvenile crimes are misdemeanor crimes and may include the following:
- Vandalism and graffiti charges
- Shoplifting and other petty theft charges
- Simple assault (typically due to fighting incidents)
- Underage drinking violations
- Joyriding in a car
A good portion of juvenile crimes are first-time offenses, which is a good thing when it comes to the sentence. When it comes to first-time offenders, the judge is more likely to settle on an alternative type of sentencing over jail time. It is also important to keep in mind that there are also numerous juvenile felonies filed each year across the United States. These more serious crimes may include homicide, grand theft, or burglary, to name a few.
Why Hire a Juvenile Defense Attorney?
Now that you have a better understanding of what some of the most common juvenile crimes are, let’s go over why you should hire a juvenile defense attorney if your child is being charged with a crime. While it is certainly tempting to forgo hiring a lawyer – especially for less serious crimes – it is important that you do not underestimate the consequences of an inexperienced defense. Without proper representation in court, your child could end up in a juvenile detention center, or worse. Hiring a juvenile defense attorney from Atkins & Markoff who is experienced in juvenile law and understands what needs to happen in order to make a case for rehabilitation rather than punishment is a must. There are numerous possible consequences for not hiring a capable juvenile defense attorney, including the following:
- The minor could be incarcerated due to inexperienced negotiating by the attorney
- The parents will have to be for the incarceration period
- The minor is at a higher risk of being locked up with gang members
- The offense will go on the minor’s permanent record
As you can see, the repercussions of not having an experienced juvenile defense attorney from Atkins & Markoff by your side are very serious. Because of this, we encourage you to contact our Oklahoma law firm today for a free consultation.