DOES YOUR CHILD FACE JUVENILE CHARGES IN WASHINGTON?
Washington Juvenile Criminal Attorney Michael Harbeson Can Help!
While most cases involving minors are tried in the juvenile system, some cases are taken to higher courts. Depending on the crime and circumstances of the case, a prosecutor may try to prosecute your child in an adult court and pursue the maximum amount of penalties available. Juvenile offenders are sometimes used to "make an example" in an effort to deter others from committing similar crimes, a practice that can be very detrimental to your child's future.
What to expect if your child has been charged with a crime.
One of the first steps in the juvenile justice process is the detention hearing. At this hearing, a judge will determine if there is enough evidence against the minor to hold trial or if the child should be placed on probation. If trial is imminent, your attorney can work to challenge evidence that the prosecutor may have and aggressively defend your child's case. Most judges will look into a child's social life, criminal history, and attendance at school or prior run-ins with the law during a case to determine appropriate sentencing. Based on a judge's findings, a child may be placed on probation with community service, counseling, and schooling or spend anywhere from 30 days in the Juvenile Temporary Detention Facility to time in a Department of Corrections prison.
The Washington State Juvenile Justice System varies slightly in its proceedings and handling of criminals than the adult justice system. Some key characteristics of the juvenile system include:
- The ultimate goal of the juvenile corrections system is to help modify behaviors that can be seen as unfavorable and make the child a productive adult member of society.
- At the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, a point system will be used to determine the severity of your child's case and whether they will be held at the center until their court date or can be released while awaiting a hearing or trial.
- All individuals who are arrested prior to their 17th birthday are tried as juveniles.
- Upon arrest, an officer will determine whether the offense should be handled by releasing the child to the custody of their parents or bringing the minor to the juvenile court.
Regardless of the degree charged the goal remain the same. We will help you avoid the conviction for the criminal charge, but perhaps more importantly, keep you out of jail.
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