A juvenile crime attorney is unlike a ”general” practitioner who will handle almost every type of case you hand over to him. Juvenile crime is a sensitive matter and accused juveniles are even more sensitive to the treatment meted out to them by the juvenile court. The procedure of a juvenile court for juvenile offenders is completely different than that for adult offenders. An experienced juvenile law attorney is trained at representing juveniles ( under 19 years of age) in the juvenile court and to keep juvenile crimes sealed from public record.
Choosing the right juvenile defense attorney is crucial for your child’s future as he will help to make sure that your child’s rights are fully advocated and protected. On the other hand, choosing an inadequate or ill-informed juvenile attorney can be devastating not only for your child but for an entire family. Read on to know how you can make the right decision in choosing the right juvenile crime attorney.
Chracteristics of a qualified, experienced juvenile attorney
While selecting a juvenile attorney, these are the basics you should start from.
- Is the attorney board certified in juvenile law?
- Has the state bar association ever sanctioned the attorney for misconduct?
- Is the publicity of the attorney positive or negative?
- Do peers and clients hold the attorney in a good light?
Once you have spared enough time to get accurate answers to these questions, you should move on to the next phase of your search of an appropriate attorney. You should now consider the following factors of selected juvenile attorneys before choosing the most adequate one.
Experience: There’s no substitute for experience and a well-experienced juvenile defense attorney has probably handled a wide range of juvenile crime cases with a fair degree of success. So, prefer a lawyer with good experience because of theoretical nature of juvenile law.
Knowledge: Experience is valuable, but it is not everything. A competent juvenile lawyer should be well-informed, well-educated so as to argue in favor of a juvenile effectively. An attorney who has handled number of juvenile crime cases has a valuable experience of the proceedings of a juvenile court which includes:
- The consequences of a juvenile’s conviction
- The character and tendencies of judges
- Common tactics of prosecutors
- Availability of alternatives to incarceration such as treatments, rehabilitation programs, and other options.
A knowledgeable juvenile attorney knows very well how to protect the client’s record and prevent the juvenile from incarceration.
Reputation: Reputations are not earned within a week. It takes years of practice and handling of juvenile crime cases to get the best result for the client. Talking to previous clients is a reliable way to know about the reputation of a juvenile attorney.
Where to find juvenile lawyers
Word of mouth recommendation is considered the best way of getting referral for any type of service or profession. The same applies to juvenile lawyers too. Talk to your friends, colleagues, and family members and ask them for referrals. If you know someone in your neighborhood who has hired a juvenile lawyer earlier for defending his/her child, talk to them and know how was the experience with a certain lawyer, and whether the outcome was in their favor or not.
Choosing a juvenile lawyer is a careful decision because of the sensitivity of this matter. This is the age where a child needs a guidance and right direction. A good attorney can prevent him/her from losing direction in life and make a new beginning towards a purposeful life.