A child under the age of 18, when prosecuted for a crime, will go through the Juvenile Justice System and not the “adult” Justice System. The goal is to rehabilitate the youth, give them the tools they need to turn their lives around, and get them on the correct path for adulthood. It is unfortunate that children who grow up with parents that have had criminal issues, learn the wrong ways to live a productive life, and the Juvenile Justice System was created to “step-in” to try to teach the tools necessary for success. Not all juvenile offenders come from parents who have or have had criminal legal issues; however, it is a large number of cases. Although juvenile cases are not public record, the State Attorney’s office will always have access to those records and may use that information for charging guidelines or what they believe to be an appropriate sentence.
There is a completely different set of rules and laws for the Juvenile Justice System; however, the crimes themselves are the same (Assault, Battery, Murder, Theft, Grand Theft, Criminal Mischief, etc.).
When looking for an attorney to assist your child in the Juvenile Justice System, it is important to hire someone with experience in that area, as it does differ somewhat from the Criminal Justice System for adults. Some children are “tried” as adults due to the gravity of the crime or the child’s criminal history.
Camy B. Schwam-Wilcox was a prosecutor in Orange County at the beginning of her legal career, and she was assigned to the Juvenile Division at the State Attorney’s Office. Ms. Schwam-Wilcox understands how the system works and can help you navigate through the system to protect your child.
For more detail on your child’s particular case, you can contact the office of Schwam-Wilcox & Associates and meet with an attorney for a complimentary consultation to help determine the right path for your child. Call the office today at 407-245-7700, or e-mail [email protected] to schedule your appointment. Learn more at www.cbswlaw.com.