When minors are charged with crimes in Ohio, it is critical for them and their loved ones to navigate these cases carefully. Contacting a Toledo juvenile crimes lawyer right away is critical.
There are several significant differences from usual criminal cases that can all become a disadvantage for the defendant. Even worse, these juvenile cases are often handed off to inexperienced prosecutors who may not be well-versed in due process and the subtleties of our juvenile justice system.
At Patituce & Associates, we are experienced, proven Toledo criminal defense attorneys. We’re also parents. We understand what the stakes are in these cases not just for the accused, but for the family as a whole and the future of their child. That is why we treat these cases with the same diligence as any criminal case we handle and ensure that our clients are given the consideration they deserve under the law.
Juvenile Cases vs. Criminal Cases
One might assume that, because the defendants in juvenile cases are young, impressionable, and still have their whole lives ahead of them, they would be offered more protections under the juvenile justice system than adults do in our criminal justice system.
Alarmingly, this is not usually the case. In fact, there are numerous factors that affect the rights of juvenile defendants and the outcome of these cases.
Juveniles Have no Right to Bail or Bond.
Not all juveniles are held in a detention center while their case is pending (many are allowed home detention or are released to their parents), but those that are will not have access to a bail or bond hearing. And because they have no right to a speedy trial either, these detention periods can end up being lengthy.
Juveniles Don’t Have the Right to a Jury Trial.
Many criminal matters hinge on the defendant and their counsel clarifying the facts and appealing to a jury of peers. For juvenile cases, there are no juries. Nearly all cases are handled by a single judge.
Juvenile Sentencing Can Be Decided by the Department of Corrections.
If a juvenile is sentenced to incarceration, their punishment is re-evaluated by the department of corrections if they turn 21 while serving their sentence. When that happens, they have the authority to re-apply adult sentencing, resulting in an even longer time behind bars.
In some cases, juveniles can be tried as adults.
These are just some of the urgent reasons why dedicated, proven defense counsel is needed in these cases. At Patituce & Associates, we approach these cases with these concerns in mind and ensure they are emphatically voiced throughout every stage of your child’s case.
Call our Toledo juvenile crime attorneys today to learn more.
What to Do If Your Child Is Charged
Few circumstances can be as stressful for a parent as learning that their child has been charged with a crime. It’s common to not know how to proceed—or even what your family’s options are. Below, we outline two immediate steps any family can take to help ensure a favorable outcome in these matters.
If you learn that your child has been charged with a crime, here is what you should do.
Immediately Get in Contact With a Proven Criminal Attorney.
Police will consult with parents before questioning a minor and it is highly advised that you first consult with an attorney and have one present when your child is questioned.
Our firm includes three former prosecutors that know what tactics police use in questioning to extract damaging statements. We can guard your child against these tactics and protect them from further implicating him or herself.
Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent.
Police will also want to question parents about their child and what happened. It is advised that you exercise your right to remain silent. Often, parents are quick to want to “clear things up” with police and set the record straight on behalf of their child.
If your child has already been arrested, then the record likely has to be set straight in court with the help of an attorney. Simply tell law enforcement that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent at this time.
Juveniles & Felony Charges
Many juvenile cases involve misdemeanor crimes, but in some cases, the defendant can face significant penalties due to felony charges. These cases are particularly serious and can have a long-term effect on the future of the defendant.
A finding of delinquency (a “guilty verdict” in juvenile court) can not only result in incarceration but future difficulties in college applications, employment efforts, etc. If your child has been accused of a felony, our firm is prepared to bring trusted, proactive counsel to their case that is focused on minimizing any penalties and, if possible, dismissing the charges altogether.
Juveniles & DUI
Those under 21 (the legal drinking age) are held to a different blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit than other, older drivers. These younger drivers can be arrested if their BAC is 0.02% or higher. This form of drunk driving is still considered a crime and many of these cases are handled in our juvenile justice system.
Regardless of your child’s age in these underage DUI/OVI cases, it is critical that you seek experienced representation that is well-versed in this area of the law and prepared to challenge the state’s accusations against the defendant.
Call Our Experienced Toledo Juvenile Crimes Lawyers Today!
At Patituce & Associates, we are experienced, proven Toledo criminal defense attorneys and we’re also parents. We understand what the stakes are in juvenile cases not just for the accused, but for the family as a whole and the future of their child.