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Howard County, MO

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Juvenile Defense Lawyer Howard County, MO

Juvenile defense lawyer in Howard County, MO. Navigating the difficulties of the legal system as a juvenile can be an overwhelming experience for both you and your family. If you are facing charges, no matter their severity, it’s critical to have a skilled, experienced, and compassionate Howard County, MO juvenile defense lawyer by your side.

The legal professionals at Combs Waterkotte specialize in representing individuals involved in criminal or delinquency proceedings in Howard County and throughout Missouri. Our legal team plays a crucial role in ensuring that our young clients in Howard County, MO and their families receive equitable treatment and the best opportunities for rehabilitation. We understand that good people can find themselves in challenging 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-strings-attached case review. Our Howard County, MO lawyers are committed to providing expert legal advice and determining the most appropriate course of action for your situation.

Why You Need a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Howard County, MO

In Missouri, the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court exclusively handles juvenile crimes, along with cases of abuse, neglect, adoptions, and more. This is extremely beneficial to you due to the fact that when a minor is accused of a crime in Howard County or anywhere else in Missouri the Juvenile Division provides rehabilitative measures rather than punishment. However, this also means that you should have a seasoned Howard County, MO defense attorney by your side who understands the intricacies of the juvenile court proceedings.

The Combs Waterkotte Howard County, MO juvenile defense lawyer team boasts extensive 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 right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact 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. The age differs for various other circumstances under Missouri law, including:

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

Juvenile Defense Lawyer Howard County, MO | Howard County, MO Criminal Defense Law Firm | Combs Waterkotte

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

The potential resolutions for a juvenile facing criminal accusations depend on factors such as the gravity of the offense, the juvenile’s prior legal history, and the specific details of the case. These possible outcomes underscore the importance of having a dedicated Howard County, MO juvenile defense lawyer by your side, tirelessly advocating for your rights and future.

Don’t leave the outcome to chance in Howard County, MO; reach out to the attorneys at Combs Waterkotte right now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Here are some of the potential outcomes:

Diversion Programs

Juveniles may qualify for alternative programs aimed at diverting them from formal court proceedings. These initiatives, like counseling, community service opportunities in Howard County, MO, or educational components, provide alternatives to traditional legal pathways.

Probation

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

Restitution

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

Juvenile Detention

In instances of severe or repeated offenses, the court may order juvenile confinement or out-of-home placement in the Howard County, MO area. This frequently happens when rehabilitation within the community is deemed unfeasible.

Expungement

Some juvenile records may be expunged or sealed after the juvenile reaches a specific age, completes 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 vital to consult with a Combs Waterkotte juvenile defense lawyer in Howard County, MO to understand the jurisdiction-specific guidelines. Our team is available 24/7. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online.

It is important to recognize that the juvenile justice systems in Howard County and Missouri are crafted with a primary focus on the well-being of the juvenile, prioritizing 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 Howard County and Throughout Missouri?

Juvenile crimes in Howard County, MO can encompass a spectrum of activities and can vary in severity, ranging from nonviolent to violent offenses. Some of the more common types of juvenile crimes in Howard County and throughout Missouri include:

  • Truancy: Under 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. While homeschooling is an alternative, parents must demonstrate that the child receives 1000 hours of instruction.
  • Curfew Violations: This involves 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: Fortunately, the Missouri courts don’t feel children have the same decision-making abilities as adults. Property crimes, such as shoplifting and theft, fall under the purview of the Juvenile Division, which tends to course-correct juveniles who steal by releasing them to their parents or possibly in more serious cases ordering restitution, probation, a diversionary program, counseling, or even 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 serious cases, detention.
  • Trespassing: Juvenile trespassing is typically driven by different intentions than adult trespassing. Consequently, the courts see this and have far different penalties for juveniles – including probation, diversion programs, fines, or, in the most serious 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 cannot take any cases beyond 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: Recent legislative changes mean that a juvenile may now face charges of simple assault for injuring another person or for seriously threatening to harm another person. Referred to as assault in the fourth degree according to RSMo. § 565.056, this offense is categorized as a misdemeanor, potentially leading to consequences like jail time, community service, restitution, probation, counseling, or a fine.
  • Arson: Penalties for juvenile arson cases can vary widely based on the circumstances. In minor cases, juveniles could be required to pay restitution or perform community service and undergo counseling. However, arson charges can quickly escalate to more serious consequences depending on the gravity of the offense.
  • 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 Howard County, MO | Combs Waterkotte

Our experienced legal team makes sure that the residents of Howard County, MO receive the best possible legal presentation in any situation. Along with juvenile defense in Howard County, MO, our lawyers are experienced in several forms of law, including:

Who Decides if a Juvenile Can Be Tried as an Adult in Howard County, MO?

If you have been charged with a serious crime as a juvenile, you need to have a conversation with a defense attorney in Howard County, 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.

According to RSMo. § 211.071, a juvenile court judge decides whether you will be tried as an adult based on the charges, looking at your record, and following a hearing. The judge will consider the seriousness of the charges, whether the community needs to be protected from you, whether the crime involved force or violence, whether you hurt another individual, whether you have a record of breaking the law, and your age.

If you are tried as an adult, our Howard County criminal defense lawyers will do everything in their power to prove 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.

Reach Out To a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Howard County, MO Today at Combs Waterkotte

Securing the services of an adept juvenile defense lawyer is crucial for ensuring a fair and equitable outcome for young individuals navigating the legal system in Howard County or elsewhere in Missouri. With the right legal representation, Howard County, MO juveniles stand a better chance at rehabilitation and a promising 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. Give us a call immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact us for a free, commitment-free consultation.

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