Do You Need a Juvenile Defense Attorney?
Has your child or teen been arrested for juvenile crimes? Do you believe you will be charged soon? Are you worried about how juvenile charges will impact life now and in the future?
Juvenile law cases are different than regular adult criminal proceedings. In many Arkansas counties, proceedings take place in a juvenile court separate from other courthouses, and they are often decided by a specified judge who deals primarily with juvenile law. The juvenile law system places an emphasis on rehabilitation and can afford juvenile offenders a wider variety of options than adult criminal proceedings.
Juvenile law proceedings tend to revolve around three primary areas:
Consulting with an attorney experienced in juvenile law is crucial as the Arkansas Juvenile Code and local juvenile court practices can vary from general criminal defense practices.
How Do Juvenile Courts Work in Arkansas?
In the state of Arkansas, anyone under the age of 18 is considered a juvenile or minor in the eyes of the law. There are instances, however, where a minor may be tried in criminal court as an adult. Conversely, a youth in criminal court may have his or her case transferred to juvenile court. Additionally, local juvenile courts may differ in how they interpret and enforce cases.
The goals of the Benton County Juvenile Courts are “not only to rehabilitate an at risk youth, but to strengthen and preserve a family unit.” In many cases, juvenile crimes are treated as “delinquent acts” rather than felonies, and judges look for alternatives to incarceration – such as juvenile probation or community service. But, the rules of evidence and criminal procedure still apply. As such, fines, probation, and incarceration remain possibilities in many juvenile criminal defense cases.
Juvenile law can be extremely nuanced. Consulting with a defense attorney who understands juvenile law and the local juvenile court system, like the Roberds Law Firm, can give you the information and support you need to help protect your child.
You May Have a Defense
Youths are afforded many of the same rights as adults when charged with a crime in the state of Arkansas, including the right to counsel. An experienced juvenile attorney can make sure your child’s rights were protected throughout the arrest and intake process. Did the arresting officer have legal cause to stop the youth? Was (s)he informed of his or her right to counsel by the arresting and intake officers? Was a detention hearing held within 72 hours of the youth being taken into custody?
With a strategic legal defense, it is possible to have some charges dismissed and, barring that, receive a more lenient sentence that won’t go on your child or teen’s permanent record. How a judge rules in a juvenile case – and whether the case is transferred to criminal court – depends on a variety of factors, including criminal history and the success of past rehabilitation efforts. A juvenile law attorney can help you navigate the juvenile court system and develop the best legal defense for your child or teen.
Juvenile Defense Attorney Ben T. Roberds
If your child has become involved in a juvenile case, or if you believe that they may be involved in a juvenile case, call the Roberds Law Firm today at (479) 464-0904 for a complimentary, confidential consultation.