Group Picture of The Law Offices of Mark Sherman, LLC

Stamford Juvenile Crimes Lawyer

If your child has been charged with a crime, you need to be aware of the options available to protect them. It is normal to feel overwhelmed when your child is facing serious criminal charges and must report to Stamford Juvenile Court, but you do not have to go through this difficult process alone.

Some of the top Stamford Connecticut juvenile crimes attorneys have successfully defended minors against a variety of criminal charges, and can help explain to you how the laws apply differently to juvenile defendants.  A defense attorney can help you determine the best way to ensure your child does not face the lifelong consequences of an adult criminal record, while consistently fighting for their best interests.

Types of Juvenile Offenses

Some of the most common charges faced by juvenile criminal defendants include shoplifting, underage drinking, assault, and drug possession. Although these types of juvenile offenses can result in serious consequences, there are often alternatives to traditional criminal penalties available to juvenile defendants in Stamford Connecticut who have the benefit of experienced legal representation.

Many rehabilitative and probationary programs exist that can serve as an alternative to jail time, if the judge or Stamford juvenile prosecutor is convinced to be lenient.

While minors must abide by the same laws as adults and can be charged with the same crimes, the adjudication of these types of charges takes place within the juvenile court system. The assistance of any of the best juvenile lawyers in Stamford Connecticut with experience in the juvenile system is essential to help understand the nuances of defending minors. With the help of a skilled defense attorney, many juvenile defendants are able to avoid jail time and permanent criminal records entirely.

Juvenile Justice in Connecticut

In Connecticut, the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters has jurisdiction over those crimes committed by anyone under the age of 18.  Juvenile justice cases within this system may be classified as either non-judicial or judicial, depending on the severity of the charges. While most juvenile defendants face more lenient sentences than adult offenders, there are instances in which juvenile cases may be automatically transferred into the adult system (such as sex assault and rape cases).

Judicial and Non-Judicial Cases

Depending on the crime a minor is charged with, their case will either be assigned to a juvenile probation officer or prosecuted by the juvenile state’s attorney. Many juvenile arrests in Stamford Connecticut are managed and supervised by juvenile probation officers who have the power to dismiss any pending charges and institute a probationary period instead.

During probation, the minor will be subject to certain conditions, such as random drug testing, community service, anger management, or electronic monitoring.

For cases that go “judicial” in Stamford Connecticut, the minor is adjudicated a delinquent, they may be committed to a juvenile facility or placed on probation. Certain serious offenses committed by juvenile offenders over the age of 15 can result in their case being transferred to the adult court system, where they will face the same potential penalties as adult offenders.

Confidentiality of Stamford Juvenile Court Proceedings

All proceedings that take place within the juvenile justice system are confidential, with the courtroom closed to the public during any hearing. In contrast to typical criminal proceedings, cases involving minors are always heard behind closed doors, and any resulting criminal record will be sealed.

Parental Rights

When minors are arrested, the normal bail bonds process does not apply. Juveniles arrested in Stamford Connecticut are generally released into their parents’ care, based on a promise that they will be presented by their parents at an arraignment hearing, which typically occurs within one business day.

Unless waived, parents have the right to be present when anyone is questioning their minor child about the charges against them. It is, therefore, important to obtain the assistance of a juvenile crimes lawyer in Stamford Connecticut as soon as possible to ensure the minor’s rights are protected at all times.

Contact a Juvenile Crimes Attorney Today

The juvenile justice system in Connecticut is separate from the system in which adults are prosecuted, and has its own set of rules. Within this system, many alternative and rehabilitative programs exist that can help your child avoid serious penalties if convicted.

With the help of an experienced Stamfordjuvenile crimes lawyer, most minor offenders are able to have the charges against them dropped, or will merely have to spend some time on probation.