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Washington County, MO

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Juvenile Defense Lawyer Washington County, MO

Juvenile defense lawyer in Washington County, MO. Navigating the complexities of the legal system as a juvenile can be an overwhelming experience for both you and your family. If you’re facing charges, regardless of their severity, it’s crucial to have a skilled, experienced, and empathetic Washington County, 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 Washington County and throughout Missouri. Our legal team plays a vital role in ensuring that our young clients in Washington County, MO and their families receive fair treatment and are provided with the best opportunities for rehabilitation. We recognize that good people find themselves in bad 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 consultation. Our Washington 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 Washington County, MO Juvenile Defense Lawyer

In Missouri, the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court exclusively handles juvenile crimes, as well as cases of abuse, neglect, adoptions, and more. This is extremely beneficial to you due to the fact that when a minor is accused of a crime in Washington County or anywhere else in Missouri the Juvenile Division provides rehabilitative measures rather than punishment. However, navigating the juvenile court system requires the expertise of an experienced Washington County, MO defense attorney familiar with its intricacies.

The Combs Waterkotte Washington County, MO juvenile defense lawyer team boasts extensive 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 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, 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.
  • In order to buy a long gun, an individual must be 18; for a handgun, it’s 21.

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

What Are Some Possible Outcomes of a Juvenile Accused of a Crime in Washington County 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 Washington County, MO juvenile defense attorney in your corner, fighting for your rights and future.

Do not leave the outcome to chance in Washington County, MO; call the lawyers at Combs Waterkotte right now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Here are some of the potential scenarios:

Diversion Programs

Juveniles may qualify for alternative programs aimed at diverting them from formal court proceedings. These initiatives, such as counseling, community service opportunities in Washington County, MO, or educational components, provide alternatives to traditional legal pathways.

Probationary Period

Probation stands as a common resolution for juvenile offenders in Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington County, MO, juvenile offenders may be required to make restitution to the victim(s), either via financial payments or community service.

Juvenile Detention

In cases of major or repeated offenses, the court may mandate juvenile detention or placement outside of the home in the Washington County, MO area. This decision is often made when community-based rehabilitation appears impractical.

Record Expungement

Some juvenile records may be expunged or sealed after the juvenile reaches a certain age, completes the required program, or stays out of trouble for a defined period. 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 Washington County, MO for guidance on the specific guidelines per jurisdiction. Our staff is available 24/7. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online.

It is important to recognize that the Washington 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 depend on the distinct circumstances of each case and the discretion of the court.

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

Juvenile offenses in Washington County, MO encompass a spectrum of activities and can vary in severity, from nonviolent to violent acts. Common types of juvenile crimes in Washington 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 hours can 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: 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 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 will likely request the juvenile court to supersede.
  • Assault: Recent legislative changes mean that a juvenile may now face charges of simple assault for causing injury to another individual or making serious threats. Referred to as assault in the fourth degree in 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 specific 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.
  • Gun Possession: This is an unfortunately common charge and the possible penalties for unlawful possession could be as minor as a fine or as major as jail time.

Juvenile Crimes Lawyer Washington County, MO | Combs Waterkotte

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

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

According to RSMo. § 211.071, a juvenile court judge decides whether you will be tried as an adult after reading the charges, your record, and following a hearing. Factors considered by the judge include 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 Washington County criminal defense attorneys will vigorously work to establish your innocence. In the event of a guilty plea or verdict, various outcomes may unfold. 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.

Contact a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Washington County, MO Right Now at Combs Waterkotte

Securing the services of an adept juvenile defense lawyer is vital for ensuring a fair and just resolution for minors entangled in the legal system in Washington County or elsewhere in Missouri. With the right legal representation, Washington County, MO juveniles stand a better chance at rehabilitation and a successful future.

We comprehend 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. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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