“You’re under 18, you won’t be doing any time” is a lyric in a famous 90s rock song; it’s also patently false. At the Delaware County law offices of Raffaele Puppio, we have seen that juveniles who run afoul of the law -- and their parents -- too often proceed from the false assumption that minors who are charged with crimes will not be subject to any serious consequences because of their age.
The reality, which many of these families discover only after a juvenile court judge has issued an order, is that children under the age of 18 can be removed from their parents’ home, placed in juvenile detention, placed in foster custody, or even be turned over to the regular criminal court system to face charges as an adult. If not properly managed, the legal, social, and psychological consequences of a juvenile’s encounters with the justice system can follow them for the rest of their lives.
Juvenile legal proceedings are complex, and the law applies to juveniles differently than it does to adult defendants. An attorney who lacks experience working with juvenile defendants and the juvenile court system is unlikely to be fully prepared to represent a minor’s interests.
The bottom line: Juveniles are who charged with a crime will have to stand before the state. When that happens, they should have highly qualified legal counsel at their side. The attorneys at Raffaele Puppio are that counsel.
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