Chester County Juvenile Offense Attorney

In 2017, there were 501 new cases of juvenile delinquency received in Chester County. These juvenile offenses are the responsibility of the Delinquency Court that is a part of the Chester County Family Court. Of the 501 allegations of delinquency received, there were 134 felony offenses, 365 misdemeanors, and just two minor summary offenses. The largest single category of allegations was drug offenses, which accounted for 29.1% of them.

Pennsylvania Juvenile Offenses in 2017

 

Non-Payment of Fines

4,219

Theft-Related Offenses

2,782

Simple Assault

2,449

Possession of Drugs

2,206

Aggravated Assault

1,209

Weapons Offenses

1,088

Robbery

871

Burglary

840

Terroristic Threats

807

Intent to Deliver Drugs

805

A juvenile in Pennsylvania is someone between the ages of 10 and 17. Juveniles who are on probation for offenses that occurred before they turned 18 may still be supervised until turning 21. The rules governing the state's juvenile courts were put in place by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1968.

Following an Arrest

Depending on the severity of the charges and safety concerns, a child who is arrested will either be released to the custody of their parents or be detained. Children may be charged as an adult for certain offenses. In these cases, your child's attorney may request that the matter be transferred to the juvenile court. The juvenile court's “intake” process involves an assessment and compiling a Case Plan that is given to the court.

Informal Supervision vs Formal Processing

In most instances, juveniles will be processed through a diversionary program without formally continuing through the court. This typically involves some form of supervision (probation) such as with informal adjustment or consent decree. Formal processing means that the juvenile will appear before the court in an adjudicatory or dispositional hearing. This is more common in serious felony cases.

Notifying the School

When a juvenile is found to be delinquent, a probation department may notify the administration at his or her school. This serves to protect students and school staff; however, details of the offense are not added to the child's school record unless the crime occurred on school grounds. If the student transfers to a different school this information may be provided to this school.

Pennsylvania Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services (BJJS)

At the state level, Pennsylvania's BJJS provide care, custody, and rehabilitation to the highest-risk juveniles who are adjudicated from the county level. The structure of the BJJS is loosely similar to the state's Department of Corrections, which handles adult offenders. The BJJS facilities range from low-security “camp” type sites such as the Youth Forestry Camp to the South Mountain Secure Treatment Unit, which is geared for long-term habitual offenders.

Expungement of Juvenile Offenses

In most cases, records of juvenile delinquency may be erased (expunged) at some future point based on the specific circumstances. Expungements may occur when:

  • Six months after the juvenile completes some form of a diversionary program
  • Six months after being discharged from supervision (probation)
  • Upon reaching the age of 18 when all terms and conditions of a sentence have been satisfied
  • Some offenses may require that five years have passed without any adjudication or conviction

Should a Defense Attorney Be Retained?

Juveniles alleged to have committed acts of delinquency should consult with a criminal defense attorney. This will help to defend against these allegations and seek to prevent having a potentially damaging criminal record.

Chester County Defense Lawyer for Juvenile Offenses

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has tremendous experience defending those accused of misdemeanor and felony charges. If your child has been arrested in Chester County you are encouraged to contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.

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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.

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