Winchester Juvenile Offense Attorney
While the punishments for juvenile offenders are generally much less than those an adult would face, the traumatizing experience can be a life-changing event for such a young person. As such, minimizing the punishment, time in juvenile detention, and other long-lasting ramifications can go a long way in healing and turning a new chapter on a young life. If your child has been caught up in the juvenile detention system, or has been taken into custody, contact the Winchester juvenile offense attorneys of Simms Showers, LLP today for immediate assistance.
The Virginia Juvenile Justice System
The juvenile system in Virginia states that its mission is to protect the public by helping court involved youth become productive citizens. While the justice system does its best to take into account a child’s feeling of safety, sense of community, sense of purpose, and sense of fairness, when a minor goes through this process it can still be a traumatic and damaging experience. From the moment we take a case, we work to prevent a petition from being filed with the court and then, if the case continues, we fight for the best possible outcome for our client.
We can offer legal counsel if your child is in jeopardy of being found delinquent or guilty for any of the following offenses:
- Shoplifting or theft
- Malicious mischief
- Alcohol or drug related crimes
- Traffic infractions
- Assault & battery
- Sex crimes
When a Juvenile Offense May be Transferred to an Adult Circuit Court in Winchester
When a minor over fourteen years old is charged with a felony their case may be transferred to an adult circuit court. A prosecutor may attempt to try minors, who have allegedly committed more egregious acts such as malicious wounding, murder, rape, and carjacking, as adults instead of minors. We take every action available to prevent our non-adult clients from stepping foot in an adult circuit court. The flowchart developed by The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice describes the circumstances under which this can happen and the long process throughout. There are dozens of steps along the way, and the legal maze of navigating these junctions requires an experienced legal team with vast knowledge of the workings of the Virginia juvenile system. The severity of the crime corresponds to the transfer proceedings. For example, if the minor has been charged with murder or aggravated malicious wounding, they will receive a preliminary hearing in a Juvenile and Domestic Relations court and, if probable cause is found, they will automatically be transferred. On the other end of the spectrum, a minor may waive the jurisdiction of the juvenile court with the consent of counsel and their felony case will be held in circuit court instead. Of course, it is imperative to take the appropriate steps regarding these decisions so that your child has the best chance at being found innocent or having the charges reduced.
Let Us Help You
If your child has been charged with any juvenile offense, is in custody, or is being charged as an adult in a circuit court, you need experienced legal assistance immediately. Contact the Winchester attorneys of Simms Showers, LLP today.