Bucks County Juvenile Offense Attorney

In 2017, the Pennsylvania juvenile courts received 24,800 allegations of delinquency. This was approximately a 4% increase over the previous year. Juvenile delinquency offenses overwhelmingly involve males, as this was the case in roughly 75% of allegations in 2017.

Pennsylvania Juvenile Offenses in 2017

Number

Percentage

Person

7,175

28.9%

Property

5,411

21.8%

Drug-Related

3,969

16%

Other

8,245

33.2%

In Bucks County in 2017, there were 737 new cases of juvenile delinquency received. The Juvenile Court is responsible for handling these matters. Of the 737 new cases, 168 of them involved felony offenses, 519 were misdemeanors, and 50 were minor summary offenses.

Juvenile Court Rules

The Pennsylvania Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure were implemented by the state's Supreme Court in Article V of the Constitution or Pennsylvania. A juvenile is defined as someone who is between the ages of 10 and 17. If a juvenile offender is found to be delinquent before reaching the age of 18, they may be subject to juvenile supervision and sanctions up until the age of 21.

Acts of Delinquency

Acts of delinquency are essentially crimes that are committed by minors. Juveniles accused of delinquency have a right to be notified of the charges, a right to legal counsel, and to have a parent or counsel present for any related questioning. Pennsylvania, as with most states, generally tries to rehabilitate juvenile offenders; however, harsh penalties may be imposed for serious offenses. The Bucks County Public Defender's Office will provide legal counsel for those who lack resources.

After an Arrest

When a juvenile is placed under arrest, administrators will assess the severity of the charges and whether the child is a safety risk. A parent or guardian must be notified following an arrest. In most cases, the youth will be released to their parents. If the juvenile had an active arrest warrant or is alleged to have committed a serious offense, they may be detained until their upcoming court appearance. Law enforcement may have the child photographed and fingerprinted. A written allegation initiates delinquency proceedings. Keep in mind that serious offenses can lead to a juvenile being tried as an adult.

Juvenile Hearing

The juvenile will generally go before a judge, magistrate, or hearing master. These hearings are generally not open to the public. An intake representative from the probation department may make recommendations based on their assessment. There are four primary possibilities for these matters as follows:

  • Dismissal: The case may be dismissed by the court.
  • Informal Adjustment: One form of diversionary action where the juvenile will remain at their home and be placed under the supervision of the probation office.
  • Consent Decree: The probation department may recommend that a delinquency petition is filed; however, these proceedings can be suspended under a probation plan. A formal adjudication is avoided, but the record of an arrest may remain.
  • Adjudication: The petition of formal delinquency is filed and a formal Adjudication Hearing will be held in front of a judge.

Importance of Retaining an Experienced Attorney

If your child has been arrested for a criminal offense it is critical to consult with a seasoned defense lawyer. Although delinquency adjudication is a juvenile offense, it may have longer-term consequences. Juvenile records could still create future problems that relate to employment, military eligibility, educational opportunities, and more.

Criminal Defense Attorney for Juvenile Offenses in Bucks County

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has spent years representing juveniles who have allegedly committed criminal offenses in Pennsylvania. With seasoned legal counsel, your child may avoid placement in a juvenile detention facility and a potential criminal record. Contact the office today for a consultation at (888) 535-3686.

Contact Us Today!

Footer 2

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

Menu