Many juveniles in Philadelphia make poor choices. Part of it is just the process of growing up and the choices will not have a great effect on the rest of their lives. However, some of these poor choices are illegal and the juvenile may end up being charged with a juvenile offense. Even if it seems minor, having a juvenile offense on a child’s record can have very serious consequences on their future.
As the child approaches the end of high school and begins to prepare for college and adulthood, they will have to report the juvenile offense on job and school applications. This can have a detrimental effect on their ability to get into a certain college or get a job. It may also affect their ability to receive scholarships or other economic assistance, which can be very valuable with today’s college tuition prices. So, while the offense may not seem like a big deal at the time, the long-term consequences can be much greater than one expects.
There are different defenses to juvenile offenses just like there are defenses to adult crimes. Also, the juvenile is innocent until proven guilty just like adult criminal offenses. These defenses are based on the specific facts of each case, but if the charge is that of drug possession, police must follow certain rules when stopping and searching juveniles and the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile committed the crime.
Even in situations where the juvenile is guilty, there are diversion programs available that can help a person avoid a conviction, which is very important when it comes to school and job applications.
Parents of children in Philadelphia who have been charged with a juvenile offense may actually be more concerned about the ramifications than the child. At our firm we understand the family aspect associated with handling juvenile crimes and work with the family throughout the process. For more information on how we represent people charged with juvenile offenses, please visit our Philadelphia Underage Drinking Lawyer page on our website.