Juvenile Crimes
in Southwest Virginia

Defense Representation of Youth by The Lawrence Law Firm, PLC

Juvenile crimes in Southwest Virginia require strong defense representation from The Lawrence Law Firm, PLC in Roanoke, VA. The families of today’s youth facing juvenile charges need an experienced attorney to stand with them.

Juvenile crimes can include assault and theft from shoplifting. Police may arrest older teens for speeding, driving recklessly, or underage drinking. When your underage child has criminal charges against them, call us to secure the legal defense they need. Call The Lawrence Law Firm, PLC at (540) 904-0985 today or contact us online for a consultation.

Juvenile Offenses Differ from Adult Crimes in Southwest Virginia

We define a juvenile as any person who is under the age of 18. Generally, we view a person younger than 18 as an adolescent, or a person who is not yet an adult. Penalties for juvenile offenses differ from adult crimes. Therefore, the court must amend certain crime laws when committed by a person who is not yet an adult. They determine penalty change based on his or her level of responsibility and potential for reform. Most juveniles convicted of specific violations receive counseling and education to deter them from committing crimes as adults.

The Intake Process of Juvenile Court in the State of Virginia

After committing an offense, the juvenile goes through the intake process. At this point the intake officer may take either informal or formal action. Informal actions will require the juvenile to attend counseling, or another form of diversion from the juvenile justice system. Formal action, however, requires the intake officer to file a petition to decide custody. The juvenile may be released to his or her parents, or detained until a detention hearing takes place to determine if he or she requires further confinement.

Juvenile Adjudication Hearings, Dispositional Hearings, and Appeals

Next is the adjudicatory hearing, where lawyers present a case similar to an adult trial. A judge makes a decision on how to proceed. If the juvenile is found not guilty, the case is dismissed.

However, if a juvenile is found guilty of an offense the court will hold a dispositional hearing. This determines the appropriate penalties, or sanctions, such as warnings, restitution, or fines. They may also require participation in court-sponsored programs, assign them to probation, or place them into a juvenile detention center.

Appeals are permitted after a dispositional hearing. If the juvenile completes the “sentence” as the court orders, he or she may undergo further testing. These psychological, social, medical, and educational tests may occur before returning to parental custody. If you have a son, daughter, or ward charged with a juvenile crime, contact The Lawrence Law Firm, PLC. Call us in Roanoke, VA, today for the best defense for juvenile crimes in Southwest Virginia.