If your child is under 18 years old and charged with a crime, their case will usually be heard by a Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. While some serious offenses can involve spending time in a juvenile detention center, the vast majority of juvenile cases are about your child’s future, that is, what their record will look like when all is said and done. It is a common misconception that all juvenile records are sealed. In the case of felonies, for example, stealing something worth $1,000.00 or more, it can become part of their permanent criminal record. Moreover, many colleges and future employers will ask questions about past charges and convictions in their application process. As parents, nothing is more important to us than our children’s future. If your child is facing criminal charges in Virginia, it is wise to invest in a seasoned Virginia lawyer to advocate for your child and their rights.The Good News
The good news is that Juvenile Courts are more oriented toward good outcomes and rehabilitation for your child in many cases, as opposed to court for adults which often simply seeks to punish. When handled properly, many cases result in probation, treatment, or loss of driver’s license but nothing on the child’s permanent record. Some cases result in dismissal. A dedicated Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer can help.But Do I Really Need a Lawyer? Maybe Some Consequences Would Be Good for Them?
Even if your young person has made some errors in judgment and is in need of assistance or just a dose of reality, it rarely makes sense to simply surrender to the process and let the government take the lead on that as opposed to you as the parent. Just as with adults, throughout the legal process, the government must prove each aspect of its case and defend against any violations of your child’s rights. And just as with adults, minors are often charged with things they are not guilty of. Having an attorney with the right experience to question the government’s case during the process will make it much harder for the government to win in court. It is worthwhile to have a seasoned lawyer go through the evidence with a fine-toothed comb. Sometimes, cases can be won at trial; other times, preparing a good defense results in reduced charges or lighter punishment because the government fears it may lose at trial or is able to see your child in a more positive light.Our Experience
We have extensive experience handling every level of juvenile criminal cases in Northern Virginia including the jurisdictions of Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Arlington Counties, as well as the City of Alexandria. Some of the more common juvenile offenses include:
- Assault and Battery
- Drug Possession or Possession With Intent to Distribute
- Credit Card Fraud
- Larceny (Shoplifting, etc.)
- Malicious Wounding
We can begin implementing a plan to protect your child’s future today and set you on the path to peace of mind. Our consultations are free.