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Philadelphia Juvenile Crimes Lawyers

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

From social media challenges to peer pressure, it is easy for minors to get distracted and make the wrong decisions. When their choices lead them to the Pennsylvania juvenile court system, they will have to face the consequences of their actions.

The Pennsylvania court system is serious about holding minors accountable for breaking the law. The court’s mission is to protect society and deter juveniles from committing crimes that can destroy their future.

When juveniles are arrested in Pennsylvania, the results of their actions include a criminal record, time away from school, attorney fees, fines and possible jail time. Getting entangled in the Pennsylvania court system can be a harsh reality for juvenile offenders.

Common Types of Juvenile Crimes in Pennsylvania
At Amato Sanita Law Offices, we defend juveniles against a variety of charges. This includes underage drinking, fake ID, underage DUI, truancy, possession of alcohol, drug offenses, juvenile vandalism/criminal mischief, violation of probation and traffic violations.

Here’s an overview of each charge.

  • Underage drinking – It is unlawful for Pennsylvania juveniles to drink beverages that contain more than .5% alcohol. Consequences of underage drinking include fines up to $1,000 and a license suspension.
  • Fake ID – Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol is illegal. Consequences of using a fake ID include jail time, a driver’s license suspension and fines.
  • Underage DUI – Juveniles who operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .02 or over will be charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania. Consequences of driving under the influences are a minimum of 48 hours in jail, a driver’s license suspension and a fine up to $5,000.
  • Truancy – Every child in Pennsylvania must be enrolled in school from ages 8 to 17 years old. Parents will face truancy charges if their child misses over 3 days of school without a valid reason. Children who are at least 13 years old can be charged with truancy if they skip school without the consent of their parents.
  • Possession of alcohol- If your under the age of 21 years old and you possess alcohol, you can be charged. The fact is you don’t even have to be drinking alcohol at the time of possession. Consequences of possession of alcohol include fines, a jail sentence and a driver’s license suspension.
  • Drug offenses – Juveniles who deal or possess drugs may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Penalties include community service, detention, fines, random drug testing and curfew restrictions. The judge has the authority to sentence you to a substance abuse program.
  • Juvenile vandalism and criminal mischief – Vandalism involves the destruction of another person’s or organization’s property. This includes property that’s owned by a government entity, church or school.
  • Violation of probation – Being on probation requires you to follow guidelines including going to school, taking periodic drug tests and attending counseling sessions. Once your probation has been revoked, you could be sent to jail.
  • Traffic violation – Speeding could cause you to get points added to your license. If you accumulate more than 6 points on your license, your license could get suspended.

Convictions for these offenses could be recorded on your permanent criminal record. This could make it challenging for you to get accepted into college or get a job. If you are a college student, your school may suspend you.

Amato Sanita Juvenile Crimes Lawyers Can Help
If you have been charged with committing a juvenile crime in Philadelphia or in other parts of Pennsylvania, Amato Sanita attorneys will work hard to defend your constitutional rights. Contact our law offices in Philadelphia, Feasterville or Norristown for a consultation.

If your child is facing charges in a juvenile court, you may be distraught, embarrassed, and absolutely clueless about what to do. If you try to navigate this system yourself, you will quickly find that your opinions are disfavored and that it is difficult to compel the outcome on your own. And because the consequences can have such a deleterious effect on your son or daughter’s future, it is critical to seek out an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney who can formulate an effective defense strategy.

Delinquent Acts in Juvenile Courts

In Pennsylvania, the charges filed against a minor are typically not considered actual crimes. They are instead considered delinquent acts based on the recognition that our youth often are unable to comprehend the gravity of their actions and may lack the maturity to appreciate the wrongfulness.

And because the juvenile courts are geared towards rehabilitation and alternative punishments, there are numerous opportunities to obtain relief for your child if it is available. However, you need an experienced attorney who is treated like a colleague and equal to the presiding judge to present your defenses. If you fail to hire an attorney, it will only cause greater economic burdens and strife in the family down the line.

It is hard to escape the criminal stigma even if your offenses were committed as a juvenile. These patterns can be the bedrock for compiling a belief that you are also a bad parent and can result in your children being sent to a foster home or locked up in juvenile detention centers indefinitely.

The unfortunate reality is that any exposure to the criminal justice system creates a propensity for future criminal acts and future imprisonments. The criminals who become serials killers often had lengthy records that began when they were young. Exposure to psychotic criminals and organized crime within detention centers can lead your child to choose an alternative, lawless lifestyle.

Parents who are able to pay close attention to their child’s friends and instill the message of serious consequences for any further infractions can remedy the behaviors on their own better than the detention centers. For this reason, you need an attorney who can help your child obtain alternative sentencing and counseling to work out the problems if they are beyond your control.

Relying on juvenile detention centers to correct behaviors is a bad idea. Many parents make the mistaken belief that allowing officials to punish their children, as much as possible, is something that they also desire to correct behaviors. Many of the behaviors that juvenile delinquents engage in, however, are a product of their environment and the children of criminals that they encounter in school, playgrounds, and while cruising their bike around the block.

How Can an Attorney Resolve the Juvenile Delinquency

An experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney has worked with families regarding a number of issues. They know what treatment methods work and which methods are likely to fail. Their opinion on the best course for your child and recommendations for counseling, parental education, and even suggestions that a family relocate from a bad neighborhood are all examples of alternative intervention.

When you are working with an inexperienced attorney, they may not have many ideas and will make you complacent about relying on the juvenile detention system. In some states, parents are given authority to send their children back to juvenile detention for simply disobeying them. These strict standards can backfire when a child doesn’t understand the wrongfulness of their conduct and feels a chip on their shoulder from the unfair punishments.

Juvenile detention centers lead to sensory deprivation, corruption by other inmates, and can carry a stigma when a child seeks to attend school. If you want your child to succeed in life, you want to all the educational, social, and economic opportunities to be available to them.

Allowing them to be processed through the juvenile detention system without putting up a fight can have deleterious effects on the large investment and relationship you’ve worked so hard to build since birth. Hiring a talented juvenile criminal defense attorney to assist you is the best option you have when your child is in trouble.

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