Juvenile offenses have unique issues that must be addressed differently from an adult charge in Maryland. The purpose of the Juvenile Justice System is to place a juvenile “back on the right track,” if he or she has committed what would be considered a crime if done by an adult.
There are several pre-court procedures, including meetings with the Department of Juvenile Services. These pre-trial meetings can result in diversion, dismissal or additional preparation if the case goes to court. Even if a juvenile case goes to court, a juvenile is not "convicted" of an offense. While there may not be a criminal record, sanctions in Juvenile Court can be significant and life-altering. The disposition of the case could involve probation, substance abuse education, or detention in a Juvenile facility. Our attorneys are familiar with the Maryland Juvenile Justice System and can help navigate through these sometimes murky waters.
Juvenile offenders are generally charged in juvenile court, and when they are detained, there is no specific sentence. The detention is related to what the courts deem is appropriate for the juvenile's rehabilitation. This can create some extremely challenging distortions in terms of the leeway the court has. For instance, if you are an adult charged with trespassing, you can be sentenced to a maximum of 90 days in jail. As a juvenile, you can be locked up until you are 21, if the court deems it necessary for rehabilitative purposes.
Additionally, there is a procedure in which juveniles charged with serious crimes can be charged in Adult Criminal Court. Those proceedings involve special evaluations, motions and arguments that need to be made in the adult court, if it is appropriate to have the juvenile matter sent to juvenile court. If the case remains in the adult system, there are sentencing alternatives for young offenders. Our attorneys are experienced in the process by which juveniles can be transferred to the juvenile court system to deal with the special needs of a juvenile offender.
All these issues can be complex, nuanced and context-driven. Additionally, they can drastically affect a child's future. In certain cases, parents can be held financially responsible for the acts of Juveniles, if the matter is resolved in Juvenile Court.
Your child has been charged with a juvenile offense, it is important to protect his or her rights and future. It is important to have an attorney who is familiar with the Juvenile Justice System.
With more than 25 years of experience working on juvenile criminal issues, Mr. Felsen is prepared to address any juvenile crime case, including:
- Drug offenses
- Theft-related offenses
- Sex crimes
- Underage drinking offenses
We want to point out that these are just some of the more common juvenile crimes. Our lawyers are prepared to bring a comprehensive knowledge to work on nearly any juvenile offense case. We encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible.
To schedule an initial consultation to discuss juvenile defense in Rockville with Mr. Felsen, call 301-251-4010 or email the firm.