Learning that the police have arrested your child is frightening. As a parent, your natural instinct is to protect your child, and you may be feeling anxious about how a conviction could affect your child’s future.
Breaking the law as a juvenile can lead to serious consequences and limit future educational or job opportunities. If your child is facing a charge of delinquency in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering what steps to take. A good first step is to contact a juvenile criminal defense lawyer in Horsham for legal advice.
The McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. understands how the juvenile court system works and has years of experience handling juvenile cases and working with families in this situation. If your child is facing charges of delinquency in Horsham, call us today at 610-680-7842 for a free case evaluation.
Juvenile Offenders in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania juvenile justice system focuses on rehabilitation instead of punishment. The goal is to correct the negative behavior of young offenders and keep them out of the court system as adults. The justice process is quicker than in the adult system, and there are no trials. A child is charged with a delinquent act rather than a crime. If the court finds a child guilty, the child is an “adjudicated delinquent.”
Kids do commit serious crimes in Horsham from time to time, but most of the arrests are for misdemeanor offenses. Some common juvenile misdemeanors include:
- Possession of illegal drugs
- Underage drinking
- Disorderly conduct
Serious offenses such as robbery, drug possession with the intent to sell, or gang violence can result in stiffer penalties than misdemeanor offenses.
In Pennsylvania, a child who commits murder is typically charged as an adult. In this situation, a child would go through the same legal process and have the same rights as an adult. Children can also be charged as an adult for other violent offenses such as rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and kidnapping.
No matter the offense, as a parent, you should take the charges seriously. Even minor offenses can create a roadblock in your child’s future. Most parents want their children to be responsible for their actions but not at the expense of their future endeavors. A juvenile criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the rights of juveniles.
Consequences for Juvenile Offenders
The court has the discretion to impose many different penalties for juvenile offenses. The judge will consider the nature and seriousness of the offense as well as the needs of the child. Typically, the judge will order either probation or placement in a juvenile facility. If the judge orders probation, the terms are strict and include requirements such as:
- Performing community service
- A mandatory curfew
- Alcohol or drug treatment
- Paying fines or restitution
- Limits on who the child can be around
For more serious offenses or for the welfare of the child, the judge may place the child in a juvenile detention center, boot camp, or residential treatment center. A record of delinquency can have some long-term consequences. Depending on the charges, your child may lose:
- The right to drive
- The right to join the military
- The right to work in some professions
- The right to obtain federal student loans
- The right to obtain other government benefits
No matter what charges your child is facing, David McKenzie wants to help. We will work with you to achieve the best outcome possible.
No parent wants to see their child’s future limited in any way. Our team at the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. understands how stressful it can be when your child is in trouble. We can help you and your child understand the charges, and we will guide you through the entire process. After looking at all the facts of the case, we will determine the best avenue of defense for your child. Call us today at 610-680-7842.
How a Horsham Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
Kids make mistakes, but no parent wants their child face penalties that outweigh the offense or interfere with a child’s future. Regardless of the charges, our goal at the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. is to protect your child’s rights and provide the best possible defense.
The Pennsylvania juvenile justice system aims to rehabilitate children rather than punish them. For this reason, some Pennsylvania parents do not hire a defense lawyer for their child. But the penalties for juvenile offenders can be quite serious and disrupt a child’s life for years to come. If your child is facing charges, a good first step is to contact a juvenile criminal defense lawyer in Horsham to explore your defense options.
Contact the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. for a Free Consultation
In a juvenile case, you want a lawyer who understands the juvenile justice system and has experience with these types of cases. Juvenile criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor David McKenzie III has years of experience handling juvenile cases in Pennsylvania and will work to secure the best possible result in your child’s case.
Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have. We will review the facts of the case and discuss the potential outcomes with you. No matter the charges, we will treat you and your child with respect and work aggressively to defend your child. Like you, we want to see your child get back on track and on with their life.
Call the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at 610-680-7842 for a free case evaluation. We are here to help.