Our Juvenile Defense Attorneys Represent Defendants in Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton and throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley
Our Juvenile Defense Attorneys have successfully represented Juveniles in the Lehigh & Northampton Court of Common Pleas and Successfully won appeals on behalf of Juveniles in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. We understand that Juvenile cases are different and require special handling.
While Juvenile Charges mirror criminal charges and based upon the same criminal statutes, there are a number of important differences. The goal of the criminal justice system remains to punish crimes. The stated goal of the Juvenile Justice system is to rehabilitate. The different goals make Juvenile Defense unique.
Unlike Criminal Convictions, where the imposition of a sentence is presumed upon a finding of guilt, the Juvenile Justice Systems does not impose penalty simply because a Juvenile may have committed a crime. Like Criminal Courts, to impose a penalty on a Juvenile, the Juvenile Court must first determine that the Juvenile committed a crime. But, unlike Criminal Court, this alone is not enough. To impose a penalty, the Juvenile Court must also determine that the Juvenile is in need of correction. This is an important distinction that is often overlooked by Juveniles and Criminal Defense Attorneys alike.
Our Juvenile Defense Attorneys have successfully represented Juvenile in all levels of the Pennsylvania Court System and are one of the few Law Offices in Easton to represent Juveniles in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. If your son or daughter is involved in the Juvenile Justice System, call us today.
Yes, under certain circumstances a Juvenile may be charged as an adult. Generally the crimes must be violent felonies to charge a Juvenile as an adult.
A Juvenile Defense Attorney represents the Juvenile, not the parents, regardless as to who pays the lawyer fees. The ethical answer to this is very clear yet both parents and Criminal Defense Attorneys often misunderstand this concept. Our office will it very clear that the Juvenile is the client. We do, of course, involve parents in the decision making process but with the understanding that all final decisions belong to the Juvenile.
No, of course not, we are enlightened and call such places with bars Juvenile Detention… Yes, a Juvenile can be incarcerated and as the recent Kids for Cash scandal highlighted, this happens much more frequently than people realize. The majority of Juvenile Detention Centers remain privately owned and continue to heavily market to the “appropriate” entities and individuals.
No, a Juvenile will either be detained without bail or not detained whatsoever.
A Juvenile can be detained until the age of 21 or up to the statutory maximum period of supervision for the crime, whichever is lesser. However, in practice, Juveniles have less protection than adults when it comes to sentencing. Adults must generally be sentenced to comport with sentencing guidelines which are much lower than statutory maximums.
While sentencing guidelines may often mean that imprisonment is required in an adult case, it also often limits the period of incarceration a Judge can impose. The sentencing do not restrict a Judges ability to sentence in Juvenile cases. Therefore, while there is never a requirement for incarceration in a Juvenile case, there is likewise little protection from keeping a Juvenile incarcerated longer than an adult would be incarcerated for the same offense.