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McDonald County, MO

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Juvenile Defense Lawyer McDonald County, MO

Juvenile defense lawyer in McDonald County, MO. Navigating the complexities of the legal system as a juvenile can be a daunting experience for both you and your family. If you are facing charges, regardless of their severity, it’s crucial to have a skilled, experienced, and empathetic McDonald 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 McDonald County and throughout Missouri. Our legal team plays a vital role in ensuring that our young clients in McDonald 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 are dedicated to doing everything within our power to provide assistance.

Call Combs Waterkotte immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our McDonald County, MO lawyers will go over the specifics of your case with you and your family and provide legal guidance and the best course of action.

Why You Need a McDonald County, 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 particularly advantageous for people facing juvenile charges in McDonald County or anywhere else in Missouri. The Juvenile Division focuses on rehabilitative measures rather than punitive measures, emphasizing the importance of proper guidance and support for young individuals. However, this also means that you should have a seasoned McDonald County, MO defense attorney by your side who understands the intricacies of the juvenile court proceedings.

The Combs Waterkotte McDonald County, MO juvenile defense lawyer team has an abundance of experience in defending young clients. We collaborate with the court to secure the most favorable outcome for you and provide crucial elements like 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?

In accordance with the juvenile code, an adult is defined as an individual aged 18 years or older, whereas a child refers to anyone under the age of 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 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 McDonald County, MO | McDonald County, MO Criminal Defense Law Firm | Combs Waterkotte

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

The potential resolutions for a juvenile facing criminal accusations depend on factors like 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 McDonald County, MO juvenile defense lawyer by your side, tirelessly advocating for your rights and future.

Don’t leave it to chance in McDonald County, MO; call 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 be eligible for diversion programs, which are alternative measures designed to divert them away from formal court proceedings. These programs frequently include counseling, community service in McDonald County, MO, or educational components.

Probationary Period

This is a common outcome for juvenile offenders in McDonald County and throughout Missouri. Probation could involve regular check-ins with a probation officer, adherence to specific conditions, and participation in rehabilitation programs. Our skilled McDonald County, MO legal team is proficient in championing reasonable probation conditions, offering valuable guidance and assistance throughout the probationary period.

Restitution

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

Juvenile Detention

In cases of major or repeated offenses, the court may order juvenile detention or out-of-home placement in the McDonald County, MO area. This frequently happens when rehabilitation within the community is deemed unfeasible.

Record Expungement

Certain juvenile records may be expunged or sealed upon reaching a certain age, successfully completing required programs, or maintaining a clean record for a defined duration. In some cases though, certain offenses can remain on your record even after you turn 18. It is vital to consult with a Combs Waterkotte juvenile defense lawyer in McDonald County, MO for guidance on the specific guidelines per jurisdiction. Our team is available 24/7. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online.

It is crucial to realize that the McDonald County and Missouri juvenile justice systems are designed to focus on the best interests of the juvenile, emphasizing rehabilitation and treatment. The specific outcome will be contingent upon the unique situations of each case and the discretion of the court.

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

Juvenile crimes in McDonald County, MO encompass a spectrum of offenses that vary in severity, from nonviolent to violent acts. Common types of juvenile crimes in McDonald 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. Homeschooling is an option, but parents must prove the child is getting 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 by 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, including shoplifting and theft, are handled by 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: Cases of juvenile vandalism are also heard by the Juvenile Division. This charge must be proven to have been purposeful and, similar to shoplifting, there are a range of penalties, including restitution and fines, probation, or even detention in serious cases.
  • Trespassing: Juvenile trespassing is typically driven by 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 have a unique aspect – the age at which a juvenile is considered an adult for driving purposes is 15 ½. The Juvenile Division can’t handle cases over that age. However, if a traffic violation is serious enough to warrant jail time, such as a juvenile DWI charge, 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. Classified as assault in the fourth degree under RSMo. § 565.056, this is a misdemeanor and could result in jail time, community service, restitution, probation, counseling, or a fine.
  • Arson: The penalties for juvenile arson vary wildly based on the circumstances. In minor cases, juveniles could be required to pay restitution or perform community service and undergo counseling, but it can certainly become a major charge.
  • 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 McDonald County, MO | Combs Waterkotte

Our knowledgeable legal team makes sure that the residents of McDonald County, MO receive the best possible legal presentation in any situation. In addition to juvenile defense in McDonald County, MO, our attorneys are experienced in a variety of forms of law, including:

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

If you are facing serious charges as a juvenile, it is important to consult with a defense attorney in McDonald County, MO promptly. The legal team at Combs Waterkotte offers free case reviews, accessible through (314) 900-HELP or via our online contact form.

Under RSMo. § 211.071, a juvenile court judge determines whether you will be tried as an adult after reading 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, your history of of breaking the law, and your age.

If you are tried as an adult, our McDonald County criminal defense attorneys will do everything in their power to prove your innocence. Yet, if you are found guilty, there are several things that could happen. 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.

Reach Out To a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in McDonald County, MO Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

Securing the services of an adept juvenile defense lawyer is vital for ensuring a fair and equitable outcome for juveniles navigating the McDonald County or Missouri legal system. With adept legal representation, McDonald County, MO juveniles stand a better chance at rehabilitation and a promising future.

We understand the pressures and challenges faced by today’s youth, 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 reach out to us for a free, no-strings-attached consultation.

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