Covington Juvenile Offenses Attorney
Covington Juvenile Offenses Attorneys Who Can Help Your Family
During a single year, an estimated 2.1 million juveniles under the age of eighteen are arrested across the United States, and though overall, juvenile offenses have declined over the past few years, about 1.7 million delinquency cases are disposed in juvenile courts each year. Parents who are faced with a child in legal trouble may feel helpless and frustrated as they struggle to find the right solution. Juveniles and young adults can find themselves facing serious criminal charges, perhaps even destroying their chance for a productive future. Juveniles can be charged with many of the same crimes adults can be charged with. In some cases, the prosecution may seek to charge a juvenile as an adult, leading to far-reaching consequences. When a juvenile is arrested for a criminal offense, it is important to speak to knowledgeable Covington juvenile crime attorneys. Some of the more common offenses juveniles can be charged with include:
- Simple assault
- Drug charges
- Disorderly conduct
- Underage drinking
- Gang activity
- Sex crimes, including “sexting”
- Car theft
- Computer crimes
- Assault with a deadly weapon or other weapons charges
At Adams Law, we understand that you want to help your child break free of the charges he or she is facing. A criminal conviction can result in an inability to obtain financial assistance for college and an inability to get into the college of their choice in addition to fines, fees, and incarceration. It can be tougher to find employment with a criminal record and even more difficult to rent an apartment or obtain insurance.
For all these reasons, you need an experienced legal professional in your corner who will fight hard for your child’s rights and his or her freedom. Although our legal system is meant to rehabilitate juveniles who make a mistake, certain prosecutors may go out of their way to “make an example” of your child. For this reason and many more, it can be extremely beneficial to speak to the Covington juvenile crime attorneys at Adams Law.
What Are Some Potential Penalties for Less Serious Juvenile Offenses?
Shoplifting, underage drinking, sex offenses like “sexting,” and disorderly conduct are “typical” less serious juvenile offenses. The following penalties apply to these juvenile offenses in the state of Kentucky:
- Shoplifting—If the items stolen are worth less than $500; the offense will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties include up to twelve months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. If the stolen items are worth between $500 and $10,000, penalties include up to five years in prison and a fine of up to double the amount of the stolen items or $10,000—whichever is higher. If this is a first-time, low-level shoplifting offense for a juvenile, a pretrial diversion program could be available as an alternative to a traditional trial and punishment. The pretrial diversion program could require community service, a rehabilitation course, and restitution to the victim. When the diversion program is completed, all charges are dropped against the juvenile, and there will be no criminal record and no legal penalties.
- Underage drinking—Kentucky, like most states, has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking. A minor under the age of 18 will be treated as a juvenile. In contrast, those between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one will face a fine of up to $250 and jail time for up to ninety days for possessing, purchasing, or attempting to purchase alcohol.
- Sexting—In the state of Kentucky, there is no distinction between adults producing and distributing child pornography and minors doing the same—a law that has been challenged many times. What this means is that a teen that sends a photo of him or herself to a girlfriend/boyfriend could potentially face the same charges as an adult that exploits a child and publishes it online. In other words, the offense of sexting for a teen is a A minor convicted of sexting could be required to register as a sex offender for life, could spend time in prison.
In the state of Ohio, the following penalties apply to the same juvenile offenses:
- Shoplifting—If a juvenile under the age of 18 is arrested for a first offense case of shoplifting, juvenile court may choose to release them to a parent or guardian, although they may be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of the stolen goods.
- Underage drinking—A juvenile under the age of 21 that possesses or consumes alcohol will face a first-degree misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. For a first offense, the judge may allow the juvenile to enter a diversion program.
- Sexting—Like Kentucky, Ohio’s child pornography laws don’t distinguish between acts committed by adults and by minors. A minor who sexts a selfie has committed a felony under Ohio law. The penalty for sending a nude, sexually oriented, or obscene photo of a minor is a second-degree felony, punishable by two to eight years in prison.
Do Juvenile Offenses Show Up in a Background Report?
In the state of Kentucky, a criminal background report will include arrest and conviction records from state and local law enforcement, incarceration records, and court documents; however, juvenile records are usually not included. If your child was convicted of certain misdemeanors, violations, or status offenses in the state of Kentucky, those convictions can potentially be expunged with the help of Covington juvenile crime attorneys.
In the state of Ohio, juveniles are technically no prosecuted and convicted criminally (with some exceptions) but are found to be “delinquent,” “unruly,” or a “juvenile traffic offender.” These dispositions, while not technically “crimes,” nonetheless remain on the individual’s record and could cause problems when applying for a job or to a college. Many people think a juvenile record is automatically expunged; while some are, most are not. You would need Covington juvenile crime attorneys to seek expungement for a juvenile offense. If the offense is expunged, for all intents and purposes, it never existed.
How the Covington Juvenile Crime Attorneys at Adams Law Can Help
If your child committed a juvenile crime in the Commonwealth of Kentucky or in southern Ohio, the Covington juvenile crime attorneys at Adams Law can help. We will sit down with you and your child, answer any questions you might have, and ensure you fully understand the options available. We will always fight for your child, being a strong advocate in his or her corner. We fully understand that young people make mistakes, and our goal, like yours, will be to ensure one mistake does not alter your child’s life forever. Contact Adams Law for help with a juvenile crime.