Juvenile Defense Lawyer St. Joseph, MO
Juvenile defense lawyer in St. Joseph, MO. Navigating the difficulties of the legal system as a juvenile can be a daunting 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 St. Joseph, MO juvenile defense lawyer by your side.
The juvenile defense lawyers at Combs Waterkotte specialize in representing minors involved in criminal or delinquency proceedings in St. Joseph and throughout [wdac-state-long]. Our legal team plays a crucial role in ensuring that our young clients in St. Joseph, MO and their families receive equitable treatment and the best chance for rehabilitation. We understand that good people can find themselves in difficult 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-obligation case review. Our St. Joseph, MO attorneys are committed to providing expert legal advice and determining the most appropriate course of action for your situation.
Why You Need a St. Joseph, MO Juvenile Defense Lawyer
In [wdac-state-long], the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court exclusively handles juvenile crimes, along with cases of abuse, neglect, adoptions, and other things. This is extremely beneficial to you due to the fact that when a minor is accused of a crime in St. Joseph or anywhere else in [wdac-state-long] the Juvenile Division provides rehabilitative measures instead of punishment. However, navigating the juvenile court system requires the expertise of an experienced St. Joseph, MO defense attorney familiar with its intricacies.
The Combs Waterkotte St. Joseph, 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’s consideration. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
Who is a Juvenile or an Adult Under [wdac-state-long] 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.
- In order to buy a long gun, an individual must be 18; for a handgun, it’s 21.
What Are Some Possible Outcomes of a Juvenile Accused of a Crime in St. Joseph or Elsewhere Throughout [wdac-state-long]?
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 St. Joseph, MO juvenile defense lawyer by your side, tirelessly advocating for your rights and future.
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 St. Joseph, MO, or educational components.
This is a common outcome for juvenile offenders in St. Joseph and throughout [wdac-state-long]. Probation could involve regular check-ins with a probation officer, adherence to specific conditions, and participation in rehabilitation programs. Our skilled St. Joseph, MO legal team is proficient in championing reasonable probation conditions, offering valuable guidance and assistance throughout the probationary period.
In some cases in St. Joseph, MO, juvenile offenders may be required to make restitution to the victim(s), whether through financial payments or community service.
In instances of severe or repeated offenses, the court may mandate juvenile detention or out-of-home placement in the St. Joseph, MO area. This decision is often made when community-based rehabilitation appears impractical.
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 specified period. However, some offenses may persist on the record even after reaching adulthood. It is crucial to consult with a Combs Waterkotte juvenile defense lawyer in St. Joseph, MO to understand the jurisdiction-specific guidelines. Our staff is available 24/7. Call us right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
It is crucial to realize that the St. Joseph and [wdac-state-long] juvenile justice systems are designed to focus on the best interests of the juvenile, emphasizing rehabilitation and treatment. The final resolution will depend on the unique circumstances of each case and the discretion of the court.
What Are the Different Types of Juvenile Crimes in St. Joseph and Throughout [wdac-state-long]?
Juvenile offenses in St. Joseph, MO can encompass a range of activities and can vary in severity, ranging from nonviolent to violent offenses. Some of the more common types of juvenile crimes in St. Joseph and throughout [wdac-state-long] 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: 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 [wdac-state-long] courts recognize that children may not have the same decision-making abilities as adults. Property crimes, like 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. 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: Juvenile trespassing is commonally driven by different intentions than adult trespassing. Consequently, 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 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. Referred to 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 depending on the circumstances. In less severe instances, juveniles might be required to fulfill restitution or perform community service and undergo counseling, but it can certainly become a major charge.
- 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.
Our skilled legal team makes sure that the citizens of St. Joseph, MO receive the best possible legal presentation in any situation. Along with juvenile defense in St. Joseph, MO, our lawyers are experienced in a variety of forms of law, including:
- Child Pornography Defense Lawyer
- Criminal Lawyer
- Sexual Misconduct Lawyer
- Traffic Ticket Lawyer
- Order of Protection Defense Lawyer
- Speeding Ticket Lawyer
Who Decides if a Juvenile Can Be Tried as an Adult in St. Joseph, MO?
If you are facing serious charges as a juvenile, it is vital to consult with a defense attorney in St. Joseph, MO promptly. The legal team at Combs Waterkotte offers free case reviews, accessible through (314) 900-HELP or through our online contact form.
Under RSMo. § 211.071, a juvenile court judge decides whether you will be tried as an adult based on the charges, your record, and after 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, whether you hurt another individual, your history of of breaking the law, and your age.
If you are tried as an adult, our [wdac-city] criminal defense lawyers will do everything in their power to prove your innocence. Yet, if you are found guilty, there are several things that could happen. 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 St. Joseph, MO Right Away at Combs Waterkotte
Finding the right juvenile defense lawyer is crucial for ensuring a fair and equitable resolution for juveniles navigating the St. Joseph or [wdac-state-long] legal system. With knowledgeable legal representation, St. Joseph, MO juveniles can have a fighting chance at rehabilitation and a successful future.
We recognize the pressures and challenges faced by today’s youth, 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 immediately at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us for a free, no-obligation case review.