New York City Juvenile Crime Attorney
Defending Minors Against Criminal Charges
Juvenile crimes are committed like any other crimes; the offender is accused of making a decision to commit an act that is known to be unlawful, such as drug crimes, gang-related crimes or even
theft crimes in addition to many others. For offenders who are under the age of 18 and still considered to be minors, these are classified as juvenile crimes and are generally handled in the juvenile court system. If your child has been charged with a crime and is in danger of facing severe consequences, speaking with a
New York City criminal defense attorney should be your first step toward a resolution.
How are minors prosecuted by the court?
While New York State demonstrates a firm punishment-based solution for adult offenders, rehabilitation efforts are much more widely made when it comes to children convicted of a crime. The state believes that minors who break the law should be punished for their actions, but this punishment should not have consequences that last beyond their youth. According to the New York Courts, juveniles must be represented by an attorney at their hearing. These hearings are different than criminal hearings in many ways. These are called "fact finding hearings" and they do not have a jury. Juvenile cases are a part of the New York Family Court system.
Explanation of the Fact-Finding Hearing
According to the New York Courts,
At the fact-finding hearing, the presentment agency must prove its case through witnesses and other evidence. The respondent's attorney may cross-examine the witnesses and may present witnesses and evidence for the respondent. If the presentment agency proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge makes a "finding" that the respondent committed some or all of the acts described in the petition. If the case has not been proven, the judge will dismiss the petition.
In the event that a finding is made, the judge assigned to the case can then schedule a dispositional hearing. The juvenile will then be observed at home and at school for behavior. After these evaluations, the juvenile will then either be sentenced to a juvenile detention facility or be released on probation.
Children and teenagers who are found guilty of these crimes are often sent to detention facilities in lieu of jail or prison, as the focus is geared toward rehabilitation rather than punishment. This theory of rehabilitation is emphasized perhaps most strongly upon fulfillment of a juvenile sentence, where the young offender has the opportunity to seek that their record is sealed. This is especially important because this means that the past mistakes of youth do not have to have life-long consequences.
Musa-Obregon & Associates believes that young people who make mistakes in their childhood should not suffer consequences that affect their adulthood. First and foremost, their firm will take the time to build a strong case toward the innocence of children and adolescents who have been charged with a crime, and they will fight hard to make sure that the best possible resolution is reached.
Has your child been arrested or criminally charged? Please contact a New York City juvenile crime attorney from the firm for help defending their rights and fighting for their future!