Birmingham Juvenile Crime Lawyer
Individuals who are under the age of 17 and who commit a misdemeanor or felony offense are usually charged as a juvenile defendant in Birmingham, and throughout Alabama. While most cases involving a minor are held in the juvenile justice system, there are exceptions. When the nature of a crime is very serious, or a juvenile has an extensive criminal history, they may be tried as an adult. In these situations, the penalties faced are far more severe. Our Birmingham juvenile crime lawyer can help keep your child’s record clean and protect their future.
Common Juvenile Crimes in Birmingham
Many crimes committed by someone 17 years old or younger can be considered a juvenile offense. However, there are some that are more common than others. These include:
- Shoplifting and petty theft
- Possession of alcohol or drugs
- Violent crimes, such as assault
- Sexual offenses
The main difference between the adult justice system and juvenile system are the penalties levied. The juvenile justice system focuses on rehabilitation and offers sentencing options such as education programs and counseling. The adult system focuses on punishing defendants and removing them from society to protect the public.
When are Juveniles Tried as Adults?
In most cases, juveniles who commit crimes are tried as juveniles. There are times, though, when they are tried as adults. This may happen when:
- The allegations against a juvenile are very serious
- There are aggravating factors involved, such as the use of a weapon
- The defendant is a repeat offender
Sometimes, juveniles are immediately transferred into the adult system under the law. In other instances, the prosecution or judge may make the decision to transfer a juvenile to the adult system. Once a minor has been tried as an adult, any future charges filed against them will also be tried in the adult system.
It is always scary to hear that your child has been arrested, or that there are serious charges against them. However, it is important to know that your child has rights that must be upheld, regardless of the system that is dealing with their case. These rights include:
- The right to be free from searches and seizures
- The right to refuse questioning
- The right to not self-incriminate
- The right to an attorney during police questioning
When these rights are violated, it can serve as a defense in your child’s case. For example, law enforcement may have conducted an illegal search that resulted in the seizure of evidence. By proving the search was unlawful, the evidence obtained through it is inadmissible and cannot be used against your child.
Contact Our Juvenile Law Lawyer in Birmingham Today
As a parent, or a minor charged with a crime, you have many questions and concerns. At Peeples Law, our Birmingham juvenile law lawyer will sit down with you and address those concerns. We will also work tirelessly to prepare a solid defense to help ensure your child’s future is protected. Call us now at 205-403-5577 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.