Many adults in Philadelphia have made bad decisions when they were younger. In some cases, these poor decisions do not end up harming the person or really have much of an effect on the person’s life. However, some bad decisions made as a teenager can result in criminal charges. These bad decisions can have a major impact on a person’s life if he or she is ultimately convicted of a crime.
One Philadelphia teenager is trying to avoid that fate. The teenager was charged after a fight in a local high school. Every other person involved in the fight, except for this teenager and one other student, had their cases dismissed. The other student was accepted into a diversion program that will allow him to avoid a conviction.
However, for some reason, this teenager was not accepted into the diversion program and the prosecutor will not consider it. Part of it has to do with the fact that he had a couple of juvenile cases on his record. Making matters worse, the teenager’s case has been delayed multiple times. On the last scheduled trial date, the prosecutor was granted a continuance because a key witness was unavailable. The teenager, who is now 19, will have to wait even longer before he can apply for jobs or pursue an electrical training program.
Unfortunately, many young people do not understand the long-term consequences of the crimes that they commit. However, convictions must be put on school and job applications and can be a major detriment to the person’s ability to achieve the goals that he or she would like to achieve. There are defenses available to people charged with crimes, however, and ways for them to ultimately avoid the long-term consequences of a criminal conviction.
Many juveniles in Philadelphia make poor decisions and end up being charged with crimes. The long-term consequences can be very severe and avoiding convictions can be very beneficial. Experienced attorneys understand these potential defenses and may be able to help protect one’s rights.
Source: Philly.com, “With another delay, one Philly teen still stuck in school-to-prison pipeline” Helen Ubinas, May 12, 2015