Finding out that the police have arrested your child is a terrifying experience for any parent. It is normal to fear how an arrest and conviction could affect your child’s life and future. Your child may feel scared, and it is natural to want to protect them. Unfortunately, even good kids make mistakes. If your teen is facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you need the help of a juvenile criminal defense lawyer in Lansdale.
Attorney David C. McKenzie III of the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., understands the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system and will fight for the best possible outcome for your child. We diligently fight for the rights of juveniles and help families through this difficult process. Regardless of the charges, we can help. Call us today at 610-680-7842 for a free case evaluation.
How the Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice System Works
In Pennsylvania, juveniles have their own court system that is much different than the adult system. The goal of the juvenile court system is to correct the child’s negative behavior so they do not repeat it in the future. The court process moves faster for juveniles charged with crimes, and there is no trial. In most situations, teens are charged with delinquent acts rather than crimes. While teens do occasionally commit serious crimes in Lansdale, the majority of delinquent acts are misdemeanors.
Common Juvenile Offenses
While we have experience navigating a variety of juvenile defense cases, some of the most common we have seen involve allegations of:
- Underage drinking;
- Simple possession;
- Disorderly conduct; and
- Property damage.
If the juvenile court rules that your child committed one of these offenses, the consequences will have a long-term impact on their life. More serious offenses—such as drug trafficking, robbery, and gang violence—can result in more serious penalties.
Although most parents want their children to be responsible for their actions and learn from their mistakes, they do not want the consequences to outweigh the crime. Having the help of an attorney can ensure that you and your teen understand the charges and the possible consequences if the court finds your teen committed a delinquent act.
We understand the unique challenges of juvenile cases and will work to protect your teen’s rights and fight for the best resolution possible. Even if your child committed a serious crime, our team is here to help.
Teens Who Commit Serious Crimes in Pennsylvania
There are certain situations state law allows a district attorney to try a teen as an adult. Normally, this only occurs if a teen—age 14 or older—commits a violent crime, such as:
- Armed robbery; or
If your child is facing these charges, a criminal defense lawyer can help you. We might be able to convince the prosecutor to try your child as a juvenile or to offer reduced charges. In some cases, we can have the charges dropped altogether.
Possible Penalties for Delinquent Acts in Lansdale
The Pennsylvania juvenile justice system focuses on rehabilitation. For this reason, some parents do not think their child needs a lawyer for juvenile court. However, an attorney might be able to help your child avoid some of the severe penalties associated with a delinquent act.
Common Penalties for Delinquency
The judge can impose a variety of penalties depending on the seriousness of the offense and what is best for the child. Typically, the judge will order probation or placement. The terms of probation are strict and involve court-ordered requirements, such as:
- Community service;
- A designated curfew;
- Mandatory counseling; and
- Other requirements based on the needs of the child.
In some cases, the judge may drop the charges after a child completes all the court’s requirements.
Penalties for Serious Offenses
For more serious offenses, the judge could place your child in a residential treatment center, boot camp, or detention center. Depending on the offense, your child could lose driving privileges, the right to join the military, and the ability to work in some professions. The court could keep your teen under supervision until 21 years of age. A conviction for a felony offense will stay on your child’s record and can limit many future opportunities.
Our juvenile defense team understands how scary a child’s arrest can be for the family involved. We will evaluate your child’s case and determine the best strategy of defense for the best possible result.
A Juvenile Criminal Lawyer in Lansdale Can Help.
We know you want to do everything possible to protect your child and offer them the best chance for a promising future. We have a great success record defending teens facing all types of misdemeanor and felony offenses. We can examine your child’s situation and potentially help them avoid the long-term consequences associated with their actions.
We will always treat your child with compassion. We understand that kids make mistakes, and we strive to defend our clients and get them back on track.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation.
Facing criminal charges is difficult for anyone, but it is especially difficult for minors and their parents. Whether this is your child’s first experience with the juvenile justice system or they have been down this road before, the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., is here to help and answer any questions you have.
We will evaluate all the evidence in your child’s case to determine the best strategy for defense. Then, we will get to work fighting for your child. If your child is facing criminal charges in Lansdale, do not hesitate to contact us. Initial consultations are always free. Call the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., today at 610-680-7842.