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Cape Girardeau, MO

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Juvenile Defense Lawyer Cape Girardeau, MO

Juvenile defense lawyer in Cape Girardeau, MO. Facing legal hurdles and challenges as a juvenile can be a daunting, overwhelming experience both for you and your family. If you are facing charges, no matter the severity, having a skilled, experienced, and empathetic Cape Girardeau, MO juvenile defense lawyer quickly becomes paramount.

The juvenile defense lawyers at Combs Waterkotte specialize in representing minors involved in criminal or delinquency proceedings in Cape Girardeau and throughout Missouri. Our legal team plays a crucial role in making sure that our young clients in Cape Girardeau, MO and their families receive equitable treatment and the best chance for rehabilitation. We recognize that good people find themselves in bad situations, and we will do whatever it takes to help.

Call Combs Waterkotte immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our Cape Girardeau, MO lawyers are committed to providing expert legal advice and determining the most appropriate course of action for your situation.

Why You Need a Cape Girardeau, MO Juvenile Defense Lawyer

In Missouri, the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court exclusively handles cases involving juvenile crimes, as well as matters related to abuse, neglect, adoptions, and more. This unique legal framework is especially advantageous for people facing juvenile charges in Cape Girardeau or anywhere else in Missouri. The Juvenile Division focuses on rehabilitative measures instead of punitive measures, emphasizing the importance of proper guidance and support for young individuals. However, this also means that you should have a seasoned Cape Girardeau, MO defense attorney by your side who understands the intricacies of the juvenile court proceedings.

The Combs Waterkotte Cape Girardeau, MO juvenile defense lawyer team has an abundance of experience in defending young clients. We can work with the court to get the best possible decision on your behalf, as well as provide things such as character statements and mitigating factors for the judge to consider. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online.

Who is a Juvenile or an Adult Under Missouri Law?

For purposes of the juvenile code, an adult is an individual 18 years of age or older while a child is anyone under 18. It’s crucial to note that age distinctions may vary for different situations under the laws of, such as:

  • For driving purposes, there is a range between 15 ½ and 18 depending on the type of driver’s license.
  • To possess or consume alcoholic beverages, an individual must be 21 years of age.
  • In order to purchase a long gun, an individual must be 18; for a handgun, it’s 21.

Juvenile Defense Lawyer Cape Girardeau, MO | Cape Girardeau, MO Criminal Defense Law Firm | Combs Waterkotte

What Are Some Possible Outcomes of a Juvenile Accused of a Crime in Cape Girardeau or Elsewhere Throughout Missouri?

The possible outcomes for a juvenile accused of a crime can vary based on the severity of the offense, the juvenile’s prior record, and the specific circumstances of the case. All of these possibilities and what-ifs are precisely why you need a strong Cape Girardeau, MO juvenile defense attorney in your corner, fighting for your rights and future.

Do not leave the outcome to chance in Cape Girardeau, MO; reach out to the lawyers at Combs Waterkotte right now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Here are some of the potential scenarios:

Diversion Programs

Juveniles may be eligible for diversion programs, which are alternative measures designed to divert them away from formal court proceedings. These programs often include counseling, community service in Cape Girardeau, MO, or educational components.

Probation

Probation stands as a common resolution for juvenile offenders in Cape Girardeau and across Missouri. It typically involves routine check-ins with a probation officer, compliance with specified conditions, and participation in rehabilitation programs. Our experienced Cape Girardeau, MO legal team excels in advocating for reasonable probation terms and offering invaluable support and guidance throughout the probationary period.

Restitution

Some Cape Girardeau, MO cases may involve juvenile offenders being obligated to provide restitution to the victim, either via financial payments or community service.

Juvenile Detention

In cases of severe or repeated offenses, the court may mandate juvenile confinement or out-of-home placement in the Cape Girardeau, MO area. This frequently occurs when rehabilitation within the community is deemed unfeasible.

Record Expungement

Certain juvenile records may be expunged or sealed after the juvenile reaches a certain age, finishes the required program, or stays out of trouble for a defined period. However, some offenses may persist on the record even after reaching adulthood. It is crucial to consult with a Combs Waterkotte juvenile defense lawyer in Cape Girardeau, MO to understand the jurisdiction-specific guidelines. Our staff is available 24/7. Call us right now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online.

It is crucial to recognize that the Cape Girardeau and Missouri juvenile justice systems are designed to focus on the best interests of the juvenile, emphasizing rehabilitation and treatment. The final resolution will depend on the unique situations of each case and the discretion of the court.

What Are the Different Types of Juvenile Crimes in Cape Girardeau and Throughout Missouri?

Juvenile crimes in Cape Girardeau, MO encompass a range of offenses that vary in severity, ranging from nonviolent to violent acts. Some of the more common types of juvenile crimes in Cape Girardeau and throughout Missouri include:

  • Truancy: According to Revised Statutes of Missouri § 167.031, also known as the Compulsory Attendance Law, parents must ensure that a child is enrolled in and regularly attends school. Homeschooling is an option, but parents must prove the child is getting 1000 hours of instruction.
  • Curfew Violations: Being in public during hours when a minor is required to be at home. These vary by jurisdiction, so it is crucial to have an experienced juvenile defense lawyer on your side.
  • Shoplifting and Theft/Burglary: Thankfully, the Missouri courts recognize that children may not have the same decision-making abilities as adults. Property crimes, like shoplifting and theft, are handled by the Juvenile Division. The approach is geared toward correcting juvenile behavior, often involving release to parents, restitution, probation, diversionary programs, counseling, or in more severe cases, detention or home confinement.
  • Vandalism: If a juvenile is charged with vandalism, their case is also heard by the Juvenile Division. To be charged, vandalism must be proven to be purposeful. Penalties range from restitution and fines to probation or, in severe cases, detention.
  • Trespassing: In most cases, juvenile trespassing is done with far different intentions than adult trespassing. Fortunately, the courts see this and have far different penalties for juveniles – including probation, diversion programs, fines, or, in the most severe cases, detention.
  • Traffic Violations: Juvenile traffic violations are unique in that, as explained above, a juvenile becomes an adult for driving purposes at 15 ½. The Juvenile Division can’t take any cases over that age, yet if the traffic violation is severe enough to warrant jail time a juvenile DWI charge for example, the traffic court judge will likely request the juvenile court to supersede.
  • Assault: Due to recent law changes, a juvenile may now be charged with simple assault for injuring another person or for seriously threatening to harm another person. Referred to as assault in the fourth degree in RSMo. § 565.056, this is a misdemeanor and could result in jail time, community service, restitution, probation, counseling, or fines.
  • Arson: Penalties for juvenile arson cases can vary widely based on the circumstances. In minor cases, juveniles might be required to pay restitution or perform community service and undergo counseling, but it can certainly become a major charge.
  • Unlawful Gun Possession: This is an unfortunately common charge and the possible penalties for unlawful possession could be as minor as a fine or as major as jail time.

Juvenile Crimes Lawyer Cape Girardeau, MO | Combs Waterkotte

Our skilled legal team ensures that the residents of Cape Girardeau, MO receive the best possible legal presentation in any situation. In addition to juvenile defense in Cape Girardeau, MO, our attorneys are experienced in a variety of types of cases, such as:

Who Decides if a Juvenile Can Be Tried as an Adult in Cape Girardeau, MO?

If you have been charged with a serious crime as a juvenile, you need to have a conversation with a defense attorney in Cape Girardeau, MO as soon as possible. The Combs Waterkotte legal team is available for free consultations at (314) 900-HELP or by reaching out to us online.

Under RSMo. § 211.071, a juvenile court judge decides whether you will be tried as an adult based on the charges, your record, and after a hearing. Factors considered by the judge include the gravity of the charges, whether the community needs to be protected from you, whether the crime involved force or violence, whether you hurt another individual, your history of of breaking the law, and your age.

If you are tried as an adult, our Cape Girardeau criminal defense attorneys will vigorously work to establish your innocence. In the event of a guilty verdict, a variety of outcomes might unfold. You might receive probation for a second chance, spend time in a detention facility followed by transfer to an adult prison, or, in the worst-case scenario, face immediate placement in an adult prison.

Connect With a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Cape Girardeau, MO Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

Finding the right juvenile defense lawyer is paramount to securing a fair and equitable outcome for young individuals entangled in the Cape Girardeau or Missouri legal system. With knowledgeable legal representation, juveniles in Cape Girardeau, MO stand a better chance at rehabilitation and a successful future.

We comprehend the unique challenges and pressures faced by today’s youth, and we use this knowledge for your benefit. Combs Waterkotte fights for our clients, regardless of the severity of their charges. Call us immediately at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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