When a person faces criminal charges between the ages of 10 and 17, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will likely charge them at the level of a juvenile offense. In Montgomery County, anyone facing juvenile charges will have them resolved within the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Court located in Norristown, PA. Matters resolved in juvenile court will have a hearing and sentencing process similar to a criminal court, however, the court will recognize that these are juvenile offenses, and in most instances, will seek more rehabilitative means for justice in these events rather than strictly punishment.
Montgomery County Juvenile Offenses
When a juvenile is to undergo the juvenile justice process in Montgomery County, they will have the right to a brief hearing process. These processes are similar to those for a criminal proceeding, however, certain measures will be taken, given the status of a juvenile offender. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, most often through the Juvenile Division of the Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney, will attempt to prove the juvenile "delinquent," rather than attempting to prove the juvenile guilty of a crime. A juvenile will first face an adjudication hearing where they may either enter a plea, known as an "admission," or contest the charges against them. The court will have a prosecutor present who will need to prove that a juvenile has committed a delinquent act beyond a reasonable doubt. These delinquency hearings are similar to criminal trials or proceedings, and rules of evidence and fact will apply both in courtroom procedure and in arguments made to the court; similarly, a judge is likely to preside over this hearing. If a juvenile is found delinquent in court, they will then have a disposition hearing, which will determine what sort of resolution will be taken. This may include commitment to a juvenile detention center, possible restorative justice measures, or juvenile probation.
Juvenile Probation in Montgomery County
Juvenile probation can take a number of forms. Montgomery County will first appoint a Juvenile Probation Officer for the supervision of the juvenile who was found delinquent. Following this intervention by the Montgomery County Juvenile Probation Department, the period of supervision will begin. This will be similar to adult probation, as rules and treatment plans will be implemented. Montgomery County relies on a goal-based approach, and a juvenile probation officer will set service hours or rehabilitative program participation goals for the juvenile to meet. The juvenile probation officer will also meet with the juvenile at regular intervals. Programs in Montgomery County for juveniles often involve counseling, job development, drug testing, medication, and regular evaluations.
The Montgomery County Juvenile Probation Department is located at 530 Port Indian Road, Norristown, PA 19403.
Montgomery County Juvenile Defense Attorney | Norristown Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney
Juvenile court can be an unfamiliar and frightening experience for a younger individual and his or her parents and family. A courtroom's atmosphere can seem unfriendly to any defendant, especially a child. While certain measures will be taken to ensure a juvenile's rights remain intact, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office is still trying to prove a case against them with all its might and resources. For these reasons, a juvenile's chances in court can increase greatly with the help of an experienced juvenile and criminal defense attorney.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento worked as a juvenile probation officer while attending Temple University's Beasley School of Law at night, and he became an attorney to continue the work he started years earlier - helping youthful offenders move forward in life. Helping young people has always been a focus of Joseph Lento's professional career; through his work with the juvenile court system, his work in the education field, and for close to a decade, representing juvenile clients faced with delinquent and criminal offenses. Joseph Lento advocates for his juvenile clients not only with the philosophy of helping young people move forward in life in mind, but also in his heart.
Juveniles who are facing delinquency proceedings in Norristown, and their parents and families, can be overwhelmed by what takes place. The stakes can be high, and Joseph Lento leverages his experience in the juvenile justice system to allow his juvenile clients to move forward from what is often a regrettable mistake, and to also help their families get through what is often their most difficult time in life. He knows how to approach the Montgomery County Juvenile Court, the judge, the Juvenile Division of the Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney, and the juvenile probation officer, and he is not satisfied until he gets his juvenile clients and their families the best possible result. Joseph's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's juvenile offense from all angles and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any juvenile client and their families.
If you or a loved one is currently facing juvenile charges, or negotiating a juvenile probation term in Norristown or Montgomery County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.