When an individual under the age of 18 commits a criminal offense, the juvenile justice system makes decisions regarding their case. Minors have a different legal procedure than adults, and the laws regarding juvenile crimes ensure that penalties focus more on providing them with rehabilitation rather than punishment.

If your child has been accused of a juvenile crime, it is essential to have the legal aid of a skilled criminal defense lawyer Knoxville, TN. They help protect your child and their future.

Some types of juvenile offenses.

  • Stealing: Crimes such as shoplifting and petty theft are larceny. Shoplifting is the stealing of merchandise from stores without paying for it. Petty theft involves stealing items that are not of high value.
  • Drug or Alcohol violations: Minors may illegally buy and consume such substances. They may also drink when they are not of legal age and commit offenses like driving under the influence of alcohol. Sometimes, they may also possess and distribute drugs.
  • Assault: Children might get into fights because of disagreements and cause injuries to each other. Assault can be physical, sexual and involve the use of a weapon.
  • Vandalism: It is the intentional destruction of public or private or property. Graffiti is a common way of damaging property among minors.
  • Joyriding: The act of stealing a car and driving it at high speeds.

The consequences of juvenile crimes.

Depending on the type of crime and the severity, appropriate punishment is decided by the judge. In cases where a minor commits a serious crime such as murder or rape, they may be tried as an adult. The laws differ in each state, and a lawyer can help you understand them.

  • Home detention: The juvenile may be restricted from leaving their house with exceptions for receiving education or seeking medical care.
  • Juvenile detention centers: The judge may order the juvenile to serve a certain period in a juvenile detention center, ranging from a few months to years, depending on the offense.
  • Fines: The juvenile may be required to pay certain monetary fines for the damages they caused.
  • Community service: The juvenile may have to complete a certain number of hours of community service. Community service is uncompensated work performed by the individual for the benefit of their community.
  • Counseling: A common reason for committing juvenile offenses is because juveniles have behavioral issues. Therapy and counseling services can help them deal and cope with their past and prevent them from committing crimes in the future.

A lawyer can help your child’s charges get dismissed or reduced to a more lenient punishment by negotiating a plea deal and defending them dedicatedly. They can also help expunge criminal charges from their records to prevent a mistake they made as a child from affecting their future.