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Springfield, MO

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Juvenile Defense Lawyer Springfield, MO

Juvenile defense lawyer in Springfield, 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 compassionate Springfield, MO juvenile defense lawyer by your side.

The legal professionals at Combs Waterkotte specialize in representing juveniles involved in criminal or delinquency proceedings in Springfield and throughout Missouri. Our legal team plays a vital role in ensuring that our young clients in Springfield, 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 Springfield, MO attorneys 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 Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Springfield, 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 individuals facing juvenile charges in Springfield 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, this also means that you should have a seasoned Springfield, MO defense attorney by your side who understands the intricacies of the juvenile court proceedings.

The Combs Waterkotte Springfield, 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 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. 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 consume or possess 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 Springfield, MO | Springfield, MO Criminal Defense Law Firm | Combs Waterkotte

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

Don’t leave the outcome to chance in Springfield, 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 often include counseling, community service in Springfield, MO, or educational components.

Probation

Probation stands as a common resolution for juvenile offenders in Springfield and across Missouri. It typically involves routine check-ins with a probation officer, compliance with specified conditions, and participation in rehabilitation programs. Our experienced Springfield, 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 Springfield, 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 major or repeated offenses, the court may mandate juvenile detention or out-of-home placement in the Springfield, MO area. This decision is often made when community-based rehabilitation appears impractical.

Expungement

Certain 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 Springfield, MO for guidance on the specific guidelines per jurisdiction. Our staff is available 24/7. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.

It is important to note that the Springfield and Missouri juvenile justice systems are designed to focus on the best interests of the juvenile, emphasizing rehabilitation and treatment. The specific outcome will depend on the unique situations of each case and the discretion of the court.

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

Juvenile offenses in Springfield, MO encompass a range of offenses that vary in severity, ranging from nonviolent to violent offenses. Some of the more common types of juvenile crimes in Springfield 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: Being in public during hours when a minor is required to be at home. These hours can 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 recognize that children may not have the same decision-making abilities as adults. Property crimes, including shoplifting and theft, fall under the purview of 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. This charge must be proven to have been purposeful and, like shoplifting, there are a range of penalties, including restitution and fines, probation, or even detention in serious cases.
  • Trespassing: Juvenile trespassing is commonally driven by different intentions than adult trespassing. Fortunately, the courts apply 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 over that age, but 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: 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 under RSMo. § 565.056, this offense is categorized as a misdemeanor, potentially leading to consequences like jail time, community service, restitution, probation, counseling, or fines.
  • Arson: Penalties for juvenile arson cases can vary widely depending on the circumstances. In minor cases, juveniles might 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 Springfield, MO | Combs Waterkotte

Our experienced legal team ensures that the residents of Springfield, MO receive the best possible legal presentation in any situation. Along with juvenile defense in Springfield, MO, our attorneys are experienced in several forms of law, including:

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

If you have been charged with a serious crime as a juvenile, you need to have a conversation with a defense attorney in Springfield, 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 determines whether you will be tried as an adult based on the charges, looking at your record, and after 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, harm inflicted on others, your history of of breaking the law, and your age.

If you are tried as an adult, our Springfield criminal defense lawyers will vigorously work to establish your innocence. In the event of a guilty verdict, various outcomes may 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 situation, you may be immediately sent to an adult prison.

Contact a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Springfield, MO Today at Combs Waterkotte

Securing the services of an adept juvenile defense lawyer is vital for ensuring a fair and equitable outcome for young individuals navigating the Springfield or Missouri legal system. With the right legal representation, juveniles in Springfield, 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 use this knowledge for your benefit. Combs Waterkotte fights for our clients, no matter the severity of their charges. Give us a call now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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