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O’Fallon, MO

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Juvenile Defense Lawyer O’Fallon, MO

Juvenile defense lawyer in O’Fallon, MO. Navigating the complexities of the legal system as a juvenile can be an overwhelming experience for both you and your family. If you are facing charges, regardless of their severity, it’s critical to have a skilled, experienced, and empathetic O’Fallon, MO juvenile defense lawyer by your side.

The legal professionals at Combs Waterkotte specialize in representing minors involved in criminal or delinquency proceedings in O’Fallon and throughout Missouri. Our legal team plays a vital role in ensuring that our young clients in O’Fallon, MO and their families receive fair treatment and are provided with the best opportunities for rehabilitation. We recognize 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 as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, no-obligation case review. Our O’Fallon, MO attorneys 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 O’Fallon, 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 particularly advantageous for individuals facing juvenile charges in O’Fallon 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 minors. However, navigating the juvenile court system requires the expertise of an experienced O’Fallon, MO defense attorney familiar with its intricacies.

The Combs Waterkotte O’Fallon, 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. Give us a call now 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 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 O'Fallon, MO | O'Fallon, MO Criminal Defense Law Firm | Combs Waterkotte

What Are Some Possible Outcomes of a Juvenile Accused of a Crime in O’Fallon 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 exactly why you need a strong O’Fallon, MO juvenile defense attorney in your corner, fighting for your rights and future.

Don’t leave the outcome to chance in O’Fallon, 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 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 O’Fallon, MO, or educational components.

Probationary Period

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

Restitution

Some O’Fallon, MO cases may involve juvenile offenders being obligated to provide restitution to the victim, either through financial payments or community service.

Juvenile Detention

In cases of major or repeated offenses, the court may order juvenile confinement or out-of-home placement in the O’Fallon, MO area. This decision is often made when community-based rehabilitation appears impractical.

Expungement

Some juvenile records may be expunged or sealed upon reaching a specific age, successfully completing required programs, or maintaining a clean record for a specified 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 O’Fallon, MO for guidance on the specific guidelines per jurisdiction. Our team is available 24/7. Call us right away at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online.

It is crucial to recognize that the juvenile justice systems in O’Fallon and Missouri are crafted with a main concentration centered on the well-being of the juvenile, prioritizing rehabilitation and treatment. The specific outcome 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 O’Fallon and Throughout Missouri?

Juvenile crimes in O’Fallon, MO encompass a spectrum of activities that vary in severity, from nonviolent to violent offenses. Some of the more common types of juvenile crimes in O’Fallon and throughout Missouri include:

  • Truancy: Under 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: Thankfully, 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. 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: If a juvenile is charged with vandalism, their case is also heard by the Juvenile Division. This charge must be proven to have been purposeful and, similar to shoplifting, there are a variety of penalties, including restitution and fines, probation, or even detention in severe cases.
  • Trespassing: In most cases, juvenile trespassing is done with far different intentions than adult trespassing. Consequently, and fortunately for you, 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 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 beyond that age. However, if a traffic violation is serious enough to warrant jail time, such as a juvenile DWI charge, the traffic court judge may 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. 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 fines.
  • Arson: The penalties for juvenile arson vary wildly based on the circumstances. In minor cases, juveniles might be required to fulfill 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 O'Fallon, MO | Combs Waterkotte

Our skilled legal team ensures that the residents of O’Fallon, MO receive the best possible legal presentation in any situation. Along with juvenile defense in O’Fallon, 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 O’Fallon, MO?

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

According to RSMo. § 211.071, a juvenile court judge determines 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 gravity of the charges, the need to protect the community, the presence of force or violence in the crime, whether you hurt another individual, your history of of breaking the law, and your age.

If you are tried as an adult, our O’Fallon criminal defense attorneys will vigorously work to establish your innocence. However, if you are found guilty, there are a variety of things that could occur. 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 situation, you may be immediately sent to an adult prison.

Contact a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in O’Fallon, MO Right Away at Combs Waterkotte

Finding the right juvenile defense lawyer is paramount to securing a fair and equitable resolution for juveniles entangled in the legal system in O’Fallon or elsewhere in Missouri. With the right legal representation, juveniles in O’Fallon, MO stand a better chance at rehabilitation and a promising future.

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

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