Juvenile Defense Attorney

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Posted by Christopher Combs on January 30, 2024

Juvenile Defense Attorney in St. Louis. As a parent or guardian, you may find yourself in a challenging and distressing situation: your child is accused of a crime. During these difficult times, it is crucial to understand the
significance of having a dedicated and knowledgeable juvenile defense attorney by your side and how you can find a juvenile defense team that you can trust.

Juvenile legal infractions are treated separately and differently from adult criminal charges. For many families, it may also be the first encounter on this side of the law. Having someone skilled, compassionate and experienced in your corner will make all the difference for you and your family during this time and in the future for the accused minor. Combs Waterkotte, led by principle attorney Chris Combs, stands by you. We know how to navigate the juvenile justice system and protect your child’s rights and opportunities.

Discuss your St. Louis juvenile justice case with our lawyers today for free. We offer free consultations. Call us at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online now.

Juvenile Criminal Justice System in Missouri

In Missouri, when a person under the age of 17 is accused of committing a crime, it is treated as a juvenile delinquency case. The term “juvenile delinquency” refers to the criminal justice system for minors. Being charged with an offense as a minor in St. Louis is still a serious matter, and just like in the adult criminal justice system, you may need a defense attorney to represent you in court and help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

The St. Louis lawyers of Combs Waterkotte have experience specific to juvenile criminal allegations and we can help protect you and your rights during your case. Fortunately, for minors, there are often resources and rehabilitative alternatives to detention time that make an effort to help a young person course correct and get on track to a brighter future. The outcome for your child’s case depends on a myriad of factors including the evidence in the case, the judge, prior criminal history and more. Get help from a qualified juvenile defense attorney in St. Louis today. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP.

A Chance to Succeed in Life: Why You Need a Juvenile Defense Attorney in St. Louis

  • Expertise and Understanding: In the face of a legal battle involving a juvenile, it is essential to have an experienced juvenile defense
    attorney who specializes in defending young individuals. These attorneys possess a deep understanding of the
    intricacies and complexities surrounding juvenile law. They are well-versed in the unique challenges faced by
    minors and are equipped with the necessary skills to navigate through the juvenile justice system.
  • Protection of Rights: Juvenile defense attorneys play a crucial role in protecting the rights of young individuals. They ensure that
    every aspect of the case is thoroughly examined, including the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense,
    any potential mitigating factors, and the overall well-being of the child. These attorneys advocate for fair
    treatment and strive to secure the best possible outcome for the juvenile client, considering their age,
    background, and individual circumstances.

How Juvenile Crimes Are Treated Differently in Court than Adults

Emphasis on Rehabilitation

The juvenile justice system operates on the principle of rehabilitation rather than punishment. Unlike adult
criminal proceedings, the primary focus in juvenile court is to help the minor grow and reintegrate into society
as a responsible citizen. Juvenile defense attorneys are well-versed in the unique aspects of this system,
advocating for the best interests of their clients while keeping their long-term well-being in mind.

Special programs and government entities like the Missouri Division of Youth Services and federal grant programs for counseling, transitional housing, drug and alcohol abuse treatment and other services that attempt to equip the young offender to make better choices in the future. While this is a difficult time, there can be something positive to come out of it.

Confidentiality and Privacy

In the juvenile justice system, there is typically more emphasis on confidentiality and privacy compared to adult
court proceedings. The intention behind this is to protect the juvenile from stigmatization and potential harm
to their future prospects. Juvenile defense attorneys understand the importance of safeguarding their clients’
privacy and work diligently to ensure that sensitive information remains confidential throughout the legal

Possible Outcomes and Punishments for a Juvenile Accused of a Crime in Missouri

Diversion Programs

In Missouri, the juvenile justice system offers diversion programs as an alternative to traditional court
proceedings. These programs aim to divert young offenders away from the formal justice system and provide them
with an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Juvenile defense attorneys can help explore diversion options,
which may involve community service, counseling, or educational programs, tailored to address the needs of the


Probation is a common outcome for juveniles accused of a crime in Missouri. It allows the young individual to
remain in the community under the supervision of a probation officer, who ensures compliance with court-ordered
conditions. Juvenile defense attorneys can advocate for reasonable probation terms and provide guidance and
support throughout the probationary period.

Juvenile Detention

In cases where the offense is severe or repeated, secure confinement in a juvenile detention facility may be a
potential outcome. However, the emphasis remains on rehabilitation rather than punishment, with efforts made to
address underlying issues and provide education and counseling services within the facility.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on St. Louis and Missouri Juvenile Justice System

How is a juvenile defense attorney different from a regular defense attorney?

A juvenile defense attorney specializes in representing young individuals who are accused of committing crimes.
They possess extensive knowledge of the unique legal processes and challenges involved in defending minors. Their
expertise lies in understanding the juvenile justice system, advocating for rehabilitation rather than punishment,
and protecting the long-term well-being of their juvenile clients.

Can a juvenile defense attorney help in getting the charges dropped?

Yes, a skilled juvenile defense attorney can work to get the charges against a juvenile dropped or reduced. They
investigate the circumstances of the case, gather evidence, identify any potential legal defenses, and negotiate
with prosecutors. Their primary goal is to secure the best possible outcome for their juvenile clients, which may
involve having the charges dismissed or reduced through plea negotiations or other legal strategies.

Will my child’s record be cleared once they turn 18?

While juvenile records are typically sealed or expunged when a person reaches adulthood, the rules and procedures
for record clearance vary by jurisdiction. In some cases, certain offenses may remain on the record even after
the individual turns 18. It is crucial to consult with a juvenile defense attorney who can provide guidance based
on the specific laws and practices in your state or jurisdiction.

Look Forward: Hire a Juvenile Defense Attorney in St. Louis

When it comes to defending a juvenile accused of a crime, the expertise and guidance of a dedicated juvenile
defense attorney are invaluable. Our team of defense attorneys and paralegals in St. Louis are avid professionals who possess the knowledge, compassion, and advocacy skills
necessary to navigate the complexities of the juvenile justice system in Missouri. By working closely with a skilled attorney like the Combs Waterkotte team,
you can protect the future of your child and help them move forward towards a better and brighter tomorrow. They have so much life ahead of them and while there are always consequences for our mistakes, we can help protect your child’s rights and give them the support they need to work toward a successful future.

Find out how our St. Louis juvenile defense attorneys and legal team can help you and your family through this situation. Reach us by phone at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online today.

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