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Juvenile Crimes/Youthful Offenders

It can be terrifying for a minor child to face criminal charges. Whether they are accused of a misdemeanor or felony offense, the justice system can be intimidating. The fear over what will happen can be immense.

If you or your child has been accused of a crime in Nassau County or anywhere in New York, it is important to get a lawyer on your side right away. A qualified juvenile defense attorney can help you understand your rights, your options and the best methods to resolve the matter.

The Judicial Process For Juveniles Accused Of Crimes In New York

Juveniles are prosecuted differently than adults in New York state. The courts aim to rehabilitate minors convicted of crimes, as opposed to punish, in the hopes they will become responsible, law-abiding adults in the future. However, this does not mean that you or your child should not take the charges seriously. There is still a lot at risk.

In New York, if an individual under the age of 16 is accused of a crime, the matter will be dealt with in Family Court. Only in the most serious of cases, such as murder or rape, will the district attorney move to have the case reassigned to criminal court.

In juvenile criminal matters, there is no negotiating for pleas. A family law judge will hear the facts of the case as presented by the prosecutor and the attorney of the accused. If the child is found guilty, he or she will be adjudicated. There will be no jail sentencing, but a judge may order placement in a detention center, probation or other non-incarceration punishments. There is no criminal record associated with adjudication.

In the event the matter is relegated to criminal courts, the minor child can be convicted of a crime (as opposed to being adjudicated in family court), sentenced to jail time and have a permanent record.

Until recently, 16- and 17-year-olds who committed crimes automatically faced the adult criminal court process. In an effort to deal with crimes committed by minors in that age bracket, the state government launched a program in select counties called the Adolescent Diversion Program. While this judicial process is still handled in the criminal court, the criminal judges have access to variety of alternative punishment options that before were only afforded to family law judges.

Protect Your Child’s Future. Contact Our Lawyers Today.

If you are a minor charged with a crime, or if your child is, the attorneys at Lerner & Lerner, P.C., can help. Our two lawyers bring more than 50 years of combined legal experience to each matter, and both hold the prestigious AV preeminent rating* from Martindale-Hubbell. Contact our Nassau County, New York, juvenile defense attorneys at 516-741-4100 to learn more.

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*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.