Bucks County, PA Juvenile Crimes Defense Attorney
If you are the parent or guardian of a juvenile in trouble with the law, it can be an overwhelming experience. It is natural to be concerned about ensuring that your child’s rights are upheld from the beginning of the process all the way to the end, and to have many questions about what you can expect in the days and weeks to come.
At Young, Marr & Associates, we understand your stress and your concerns, and we pledge to treat your child with the respect and compassion they deserve as we evaluate the details of your family’s case. It’s our stance that all of our clients are innocent until proven guilty, and we work diligently to uphold justice in each and every criminal case we encounter. For a free consultation with an experienced juvenile defense lawyer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, call our law offices today.
Does My Child Need a Lawyer for a Juvenile Offense in Bucks County?
When your child is facing criminal allegations in Bucks County, it is always a stressful and upsetting challenge to come up against. The last thing you want to think about is attempting to build your own defense against a trained and qualified prosecuting attorney, or about managing expensive attorney fees. We understand, and we offer aggressive representation through affordable, cost-effective plans.
To protect your child’s best interests, you need to enlist the services of an experienced juvenile offense attorney right away. At Young, Marr & Associates, we can provide you and your child with the best, most aggressive juvenile defense attorney available, so contact us as soon as you can.
The juvenile defense attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates are equipped with the extensive legal knowledge and the hands-on experience you need to answer all of your most pressing questions. We have over 30 years of experience practicing criminal defense in Bucks County and throughout the rest of Pennsylvania, and with over 10,000 cases handled through our many years working in the legal field, we have encountered virtually every obstacle, technicality, and scenario imaginable. Whatever the details of your child’s case may be, our attorneys know how to handle it.
Types of Juvenile Crimes in Bucks County, PA
At Young, Marr & Associates, our legal team comes prepared with more than 30 years of practical experience representing thousands of clients charged with a variety of misdemeanor and felony offenses. In our decades practicing criminal law, our attorneys have defended juvenile clients from a wide assortment of felony and misdemeanor charges, including but not limited to:
- Drug possession
- Theft and shoplifting
- Traffic Violations
- Assault (Simple and Aggravated)
- Sex crimes
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
- Homicide and Manslaughter
- Underage drinking
We understand how stressful and frightening it can be when your loved one is accused of committing a crime, and we strive to help alleviate that anxiety by guiding you and your child through each and every step of the judicial process with compassion and respect. The Bucks County juvenile defense attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates will fight tirelessly on your child’s behalf, and pledge to strive toward the best possible outcome.
How Does the Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice System Work?
In Bucks County, child and teenage defendants are processed through a very different system than their adult counterparts, from the courts they attend to the records they may ultimately receive. Having a basic understanding of how Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system works can help you and your child feel more confident and relaxed as you prepare for the proceedings to come.
What is Considered a Juvenile in PA?
In Bucks County, under Pennsylvania law, a juvenile is typically a person between the ages of 10 and 18. However, juvenile courts can have jurisdiction over offenders until they reach the age of 21.
How Are Juvenile Offenses Graded?
In some cases, these offenses are considered to be “delinquent acts” rather than crimes in the traditional sense. In simple terms, delinquent acts are acts that would be considered crimes if the defendant was an adult. If found guilty, the defendant is considered to be “adjudicated delinquent,” which is not the same as being convicted of a crime.
In other cases, juveniles (and adults) can be charged with something called a “summary offense.” Unlike delinquent acts, summary offenses are considered crimes. However, at one step below misdemeanors (which are one step below felonies), they represent the lowest and least severe rung of the criminal grading ladder. Under 30 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 923, the fines and sentences for summary offenses are as follows:
- 4th Degree (least severe): $25 fine
- 3rd Degree: $50 fine
- 2nd Degree: $100 fine or maximum 20-day sentence
- 1st Degree (most severe): $200 fine or maximum 90-day sentence
Examples of summary offenses include:
- Unlawful Use of Paintball Guns (§2707.2)
- Criminal Mischief, damages under $150 (§3304)
- Trespassing (§3503)
- Disorderly Conduct (§5503)
- Underage Tobacco Use (§6306.1)
- Underage Drinking (§6308)
- Using a Fake ID (§6310.3)
What to Expect if Your Child Has Been Charged as a Minor
After a juvenile is arrested in Bucks County, they may either be returned to their home, or held in detention. If your child is sent home, a probation officer will arrange a future meeting to talk about the case (unless the offense was very minor, in which case he or she will have their charges dismissed after successfully completing a Diversion or First Offender Program). If your child is detained, they will be held for up to 72 hours before attending a Detention Hearing.
The next step is generally the Adjudicatory Hearing, where the D.A. will present the case against your child, including evidence and calling witnesses. Therefore, it is especially important to have a defense attorney for this stage of the process. The juvenile will either be adjudicated delinquent as mentioned above, or the charges will be dismissed.
If adjudicated, the next step is the Disposition Hearing, which is similar to sentencing for adults in that the judge will decide what penalties to impose. The juvenile may either go straight to probation or be required to spend time in a special facility before being released for probation.
Will My Child Be Charged as an Adult in Bucks County, PA?
In many cases, juveniles are not treated as adults by the legal system for Bucks County crimes. However, in circumstances involving very serious crimes, it is possible for juveniles to be tried as adults. In Pennsylvania, juveniles can be charged as adults for murder at any age. Typically, juvenile cases are heard in juvenile court rather than adult court, and the punishments imposed by judges are lesser than those which would be applied to adult offenders. However, there are some juvenile crimes that are considered to be serious enough in nature that they are prosecuted in adult court, with adult penalties.
Pennsylvania maintains a list of crimes that are considered grave enough to land juveniles in adult court. Provided that the juvenile is at least 15 years of age at the time of the offense, crimes which Pennsylvania treats as adult offenses include murder, rape, aggravated assault, manslaughter, kidnapping, and robbery, and offenses where a deadly weapon was present.
Our Bucks County, PA Juvenile Defense Attorneys Can Help
Our attorneys know that when you’ve been accused of a crime, only one thing matters: getting results. We have helped many families with juvenile crimes in Bucks County and southeastern Pennsylvania to avoid a broad assortment of serious criminal charges — including felony charges — as well as avoiding the serious financial, social, and emotional consequences that so often result from a criminal conviction.
Not only are we experienced with criminal defense litigation, our team of attorneys also includes two former prosecutors, as well as a former senior deputy district attorney. As a result, we know criminal law from both sides of the courtroom, and we can apply our intimate understanding of the prosecution to build an even stronger defense for your case.
To arrange for a private legal consultation with a Bucks County, PA juvenile offense attorney at no charge, contact us online, or call Young, Marr & Associates at (215) 701-6519 to reach our Pennsylvania offices.