When your child is charged with a criminal offense in Pennsylvania, it can be incredibly scary for both you and your child. Criminal charges can have a serious negative effect on your child's future, including future employment and the ability to go to college. You likely have a great many questions, including what the possible penalties may be, and if there are alternatives to a criminal sentence.
When your child is charged with a juvenile offense in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you need an experienced Lehigh County Juvenile Offense Attorney to defend your child's case and protect his or her future.
Juvenile Offenses in Lehigh County, PA
Under Pennsylvania law, a child between the ages of 10 and under 18 can be adjudicated by the juvenile justice system. Violations of Pennsylvania law that are either a misdemeanor or felony offense committed by a juvenile are known as "delinquent acts." While an adult committing these crimes would likely be subject to significant penalty, including prison time, the system for a juvenile is different.
Juvenile offenders face less strict penalties that adults (typically) and the requirements to seal or expunge their criminal record is much less stringent. This allows a juvenile offender with the right attorney to work to defend their case and later seal it to protect the child's future from a mistake made during a person's younger years.
Possible Penalties for a Juvenile Conviction in Pennsylvania
When a child is convicted of an offense under Pennsylvania's juvenile system, he or she could face punishments set forth by the judge, and as stated under state law. In many cases, with a successful defense, your child can avoid the worst types of penalties available for the offense, or even successfully defend against all charges.
Typical penalties that may be imposed by a court include, but are not limited to:
- Jail or Prison time (if charged as an adult)
- Incarceration in a juvenile detention center
- Pretrial Diversion
- Community Service
- House Arrest
- Substance abuse treatment and programs
- Loss of driver's license
- Random drug testing
Does My Child Need an Attorney?
All too often, parents do not take seriously enough the charges against their children. A criminal conviction as a juvenile can haunt a person for their entire life, if not successfully defended. With the help of an experienced Lehigh County Juvenile Offense lawyer, your child will get the representation needed to protect his or her constitutional rights.
There are unique aspects of the juvenile system that not every lawyer is experienced enough to handle. You and your child need an attorney with years of experience in the juvenile system in Lehigh County so that every defense option is available to you and your child. With the right legal help, you can ensure the rights of your child, and your child's future, are protected.
Consult an Experienced Lehigh County Juvenile Offense Attorney
If your child has been charged with an offense and you are concerned for his or her future, contact the experienced attorneys of the Lento Law Firm. Joseph Lento has extensive experience in multiple areas of the juvenile legal process in Pennsylvania, and he will protect your child's rights and future to the furthest extent.
Your first consultation on your child's juvenile offender case is free, so call (215) 535-5353 or contact us online today to schedule yours.