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Lafayette County, MO

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Juvenile Defense Lawyer Lafayette County, MO

Juvenile defense lawyer in Lafayette County, 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 talented, knowledgeable, and empathetic Lafayette County, MO juvenile defense lawyer quickly becomes of the utmost importance.

The juvenile defense lawyers at Combs Waterkotte specialize in representing minors involved in criminal or delinquency proceedings in Lafayette County and throughout Missouri. Our legal team plays a crucial role in ensuring that our young clients in Lafayette County, MO and their families receive fair treatment and are provided with the best opportunities for rehabilitation. We understand that good people can find themselves in difficult situations, and we are dedicated to doing everything within our power to provide assistance.

Call Combs Waterkotte as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our Lafayette 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 Lafayette County, MO

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 Lafayette County 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 knowledgeable Lafayette County, MO defense attorney by your side who understands the intricacies of the juvenile court proceedings.

The Combs Waterkotte Lafayette 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 today 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 circumstances under the laws of, including:

  • 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.
  • An individual must be 18 to buy a long gun, or 21 for a handgun.

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

What Are Some Possible Outcomes of a Juvenile Accused of a Crime in Lafayette 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 Lafayette County, MO juvenile defense lawyer by your side, tirelessly advocating for your rights and future.

Don’t leave it to chance in Lafayette County, MO; call the attorneys 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 Lafayette County, MO, or educational components.

Probation

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

Restitution

In some cases in Lafayette County, MO, juvenile offenders may be required to make restitution to the victim(s), either through financial payments or community service.

Juvenile Detention

In instances of serious or repeated offenses, the court may order juvenile confinement or placement outside of the home in the Lafayette County, MO area. This decision is frequently made when community-based rehabilitation seems impractical.

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 specified 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 Lafayette 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 note that the juvenile justice systems in Lafayette County and Missouri are crafted with a main focus on the well-being of the juvenile, prioritizing rehabilitation and treatment. The final resolution will be contingent upon the distinct situations of each case and the discretion of the court.

What Are the Different Types of Juvenile Crimes in Lafayette County and Throughout Missouri?

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

  • Truancy: According to Revised Statutes of Missouri § 167.031, also known as the Compulsory Attendance Law, parents are obligated to make sure their 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: Being in public during hours when a minor is required to be at home. These vary by jurisdiction, highlighting the importance of having 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, are handled by the Juvenile Division. The approach is geared toward correcting juvenile behavior, frequently involving release to parents, restitution, probation, diversionary programs, counseling, or in more severe cases, detention or home confinement.
  • Vandalism: Cases of juvenile vandalism are also heard by the Juvenile Division. This charge must be proven to have been purposeful and, like shoplifting, there are a variety of penalties, including restitution and fines, probation, or even detention in serious cases.
  • Trespassing: In most cases, juvenile trespassing is done with far different intentions than adult trespassing. Fortunately, the courts apply 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 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 may request the juvenile court to supersede.
  • Simple 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 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 less severe instances, 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: Unfortunately, cases of juveniles facing charges for unlawful possession of a firearm are not uncommon. Potential penalties for this offense range from fines to more severe consequences like detention or even incarcertation.

Juvenile Crimes Lawyer Lafayette County, MO | Combs Waterkotte

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

Who Decides if a Juvenile Can Be Tried as an Adult in Lafayette 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 Lafayette County, MO as soon as possible. The Combs Waterkotte legal team is available for free case reviews 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, your record, and following a hearing. The judge will consider the gravity of the charges, whether the community needs to be protected from you, the presence of force or violence in the crime, harm inflicted on others, whether you have a record of breaking the law, and your age.

If you are tried as an adult, our Lafayette County criminal defense attorneys will do everything in their power to prove your innocence. In the event of a guilty verdict, a variety of outcomes might unfold. You could be placed on probation and given a second chance. You may spend some time in a detention facility and then later be sent to an adult prison. Or, in the worst-case scenario, you may be immediately sent to an adult prison.

Contact a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Lafayette County, MO Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

Finding the right juvenile defense lawyer is paramount to securing a fair and just outcome for minors navigating the Lafayette County or Missouri legal system. With knowledgeable legal representation, juveniles in Lafayette County, MO can have a fighting chance at rehabilitation and a successful future.

We recognize the unique challenges and pressures of being a kid these days, and we leverage this understanding to your advantage. At Combs Waterkotte, we ardently advocate for our clients, irrespective of the severity of their charges. Give us a call now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us for a free, commitment-free consultation.

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