Has your minor child been accused of a crime in New York?

Do you think they are currently under investigation for something and you want to do everything you can to protect them? Now is the time to take action. Hiring a lawyer is always recommended, even if you assume that the charges are not serious.

It is a mistake to assume that your child’s status as a minor exempts them from facing significant consequences if they are accused of a crime. While it is certainly true that the stakes are higher for adults, being accused of a juvenile offense is also serious and worthy of hiring a dedicated attorney to help you.

Although the State of New York has a firm punishment-based system for adult offenders, rehabilitation efforts are often exercised when it comes to a child who has been accused or convicted of a crime.

The state is of the belief that minors who break the law should be punished for their actions, but this punishment should not have consequences that last beyond their younger years. The exception to this rule is if extraordinary circumstances apply, such as a violent crime.

Juveniles must be represented by an attorney at their official hearing in the New York courts. These hearings are quite different from criminal hearings in many ways. Since these are referred to as fact-finding hearings, the presenting agency has to prove their case through evidence, such as witnesses.

The respondents’ attorney is also eligible to cross-examine witnesses and may present evidence and witnesses on behalf of the respondent. The judge who is assigned to the case is able to schedule a dispositional hearing if a finding is made. Children and teenagers found guilty of minor crimes are often sent to detention facilities rather than prison or jail and the focus there is more toward rehabilitation rather than punishment.

This rehabilitation theory is emphasized particularly upon the fulfillment of a juvenile sentence, but you cannot always count on the judge taking this sort of view toward your case. You need to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney.