Ohio Juvenile Justice is a confusing body of law. In part, because the procedures and policies vary from county to county. If your child is caught up in the legal system and facing charges of delinquency or status offenses, our attorneys can help.
We know how troubling it must be to envision your child in cuffs or locked up. We can’t imagine the stress and possible disappointment you are feeling. Similar to adults, juveniles accused of an offense, need a skilled defense attorney working on their behalf. But remember:
- Your child has the right to speak with an attorney before talking with police.
- If we can keep your child out of the criminal justice system, we will.
- Most juvenile cases are handled without ever going to court. Oftentimes, an intake officer will review the case and the circumstances surrounding it and opt to let your child off with a warning or even a short stint of probation.
- If, however, your child’s case has been referred to the courts, you face a whole new realm of possibilities.
Your child can be detained until his or her court date. This is typically saved for very serious charges. However, there is a chance your child will be held until court. The judge will have to view the specifics of the case and determine the minor is better off locked up than in your custody for this to happen.
Our attorneys have helped numerous children go home to their parents while awaiting their hearing rather than waiting in lock up.
These are offenses that are only considered illegal because of the age of your child. Things like truancy, drinking under age, and curfew violations are all status violations. These are typically dealt with in an informal matter unless they are a reoccurring problem.
For your child to be considered a “delinquent” he or she must be accused of an offense that would be considered a “crime” if committed by an adult. Being “adjudicated” is the same as being found guilty of an offense and is determined by a judge during court proceedings.
Ohio juveniles being tried in juvenile courts are not entitled to a jury hearing.
As your child’s defense attorney, it would be my job to tirelessly defend them against the accusations made by the prosecution.
Ohio Juvenile Penalties
The vast majority of juvenile proceedings end in community supervision orprobation. However, if your child has been accused of a serious offense or if this isn’t their first time in the system, the chances of them being committed to a youth detention facility increases.
Juvenile Treated as an Adult
If the charges against your child are extremely serious in nature the prosecution may ask the judge to move the case to adult criminal court with the use of a “judicial waiver”. If this happens, your child will be treated as any other adult caught up in the legal system.
We want to prevent this at all costs. If you are concerned a judicial waiver could be in your child’s future, you should contact me as soon as possible so we can work together to put a stop to this action.
Whatever charges your child is facing, the results could affect them throughout their adult life as well. Having an experienced juvenile defense attorney means you are going into the situation with an advantage.