Alameda Juvenile Defense Lawyer
Criminal charges are serious matters that might have far-reaching consequences on a person’s social, financial, and professional life. While those consequences can be severe at any age, they might have an even longer-lasting impact on a person’s life if he or she is charged as a juvenile.
The criminal process related to juveniles is very different from the one that an adult faces. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime as a juvenile, working with an experienced Alameda juvenile defense lawyer might prove beneficial. A skilled attorney who understands these differences and how to navigate them could be a crucial part of your strategy in defending against such charges.
Common Juvenile Charges in Alameda
In Alameda, juveniles can face the same criminal charges as adults. However, while juveniles may be tried as adults in some cases, charges against them are typically handled by the juvenile justice system. While every case is unique because of the circumstances surrounding it, some common juvenile offenses might include:
- Motor vehicle theft
Many charges for minors are the result of otherwise normal behavior that escalates to a criminal level. However, other juvenile crimes include more severe charges — such as murder or aggravated assault. Because it is essential for minor defendants to understand the nature of the charges that he or she are facing, an Alameda juvenile defense lawyer could help to explain the specifics of a charge, as well as its potential consequences.
Possible Consequences of Conviction For a Minor
When a juvenile is tried as an adult, the consequences for their potential crime might be serious. Often, the consequences that an adult would face for a charge will be applied to a minor defendant for the same charge. However, consequences for juveniles convicted of crimes tend to be less severe.
Furthermore, the juvenile justice system offers additional options that may not be available to adult offenders. For instance, juvenile courts might consider options such as community service or enrollment in an intervention program to help youthful offenders avoid becoming part of the criminal justice system.
Many of these options may help some minors avoid more serious criminal penalties and may even prevent the ultimate filing of the charges in question — depending on the circumstances of the case. Because of the potential for these options an Alameda, a juvenile facing a charge might wish to speak with a well-versed attorney about how to best proceed.
Moving Past an Offense
Depending on the nature of any juvenile conviction on someone’s record, an eligible offense may be sealed — according to Welfare and Institutions Code §781. If a criminal conviction is sealed from a juvenile’s record, it is essentially erased in the eyes of the law.
Furthermore, the court would also order the records destroyed by a certain date in the event of a successful sealing of a criminal record. If a minor is eligible and the petition is granted, sealing a juvenile record might help them to gain employment in the future, find housing, get approved for loans, and get into school among, for example. A successfully sealed record might even relive certain juvenile offenders from the requirement to register as a sex offender.
However, the court will not order any records destroyed if the sealed records are for an offense listed under 707(b) committed when a defendant was 14 or older. Furthermore, a defendant’s record may not qualify for sealing if he or she was convicted as an adult for a crime involving “moral turpitude” — such as murder or other violent crimes, a sex crime, certain serious drug crimes, forgery or other crimes of dishonesty, and additional crimes requiring sex offender registration if he or she is older than 14.
Let An Alameda Juvenile Defense Attorney Help
There is a great deal on the line when it comes to the potential for a juvenile conviction. Not only could a minor be charged as an adult, but even a charge as a child might still lead to serious consequences, including mandatory juvenile detention or even criminal records. These penalties might have a far-reaching collateral impact and might possibly inhibit a person’s ability to find gainful employment or continue their education.
However, a dedicated Alamedia juvenile defense lawyer could help you to explore all options that may be available in defending against charges. By retaining a steadfast and seasoned attorney, you could rest assured knowing a legal professional is with you through each step. Call today to learn more.