While matters of juvenile criminal law and adult criminal law may seem quite similar at first glance, there are some significant ways in which these two criminal court systems operate. These differences go far beyond the simple fact that defendants appearing in juvenile court are under the age of 18. Consequently, it is extremely important to hire an attorney who works in juvenile criminal defense law when dealing with this type of case rather than seeking out the services of a criminal defense attorney who typically works on adult cases.
Punish Versus Rehabilitate
The purpose of the adult criminal court system is in large part to punish individuals who break the law. The juvenile court system focuses on the need for rehabilitation of juvenile offenders whenever possible so that these individuals are able to become upstanding members of society as they enter adulthood and ultimately prevent these offenders from later becoming adult offenders.
In order to accomplish this goal of rehabilitation, the juvenile criminal court system makes use of a much wider range of potential sentencing tools and often seeks to place minors in the least restrictive environment that allows for their successful rehabilitation while also safeguarding the community against any current safety concerns resulting from the defendant's actions. A juvenile criminal defense lawyer will have a firm understanding of the different sentencing options the judge has available to them and will be able to assist in obtaining the best result for the child if even they are ultimately found to have committed the criminal acts that they are being accused of.
Working With The Family And Mental Health Professionals
Criminal defense attorneys who typically work with adult defendants often do not work directly with the family of their clients or with a variety of mental health and social workers. This is in large part due to the fact that adult criminal defense attorneys are required by law to protect all communication with their client under attorney/client privilege. This legal standard prevents the attorney from even communicating with the client's family regarding the specifics of the case.
In juvenile court matters, the family will often play a much larger role in the proceedings. Being able to effectively work with a wide range of individuals to obtain a result that is best for the child is an absolute must when it comes to successfully handling a juvenile criminal matter. Attorneys who work in juvenile criminal defense will be able to offer this skill. For more information about juvenile criminal defense law, contact an attorney.
When you are faced with a serious legal matter, it only makes sense to work with an attorney who has the skillset to help. Attorneys are specially trained to manage everything from courtroom appearances to issues with paperwork, which is why you should have one on hand for when you are faced with an emergency. The purpose of this blog is to make it easier to understand when you should call a lawyer and how they can help. Read more on this blog to sort out everything you need to know to improve your legal prowess every single day, preventing problems.