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Juvenile Criminal Attorney in Louisville

Children tend to make mistakes from time to time and get into trouble with the law. When they do, it’s critical to help them get out of trouble, provide them with the guidance they need, and make sure they do not make the same mistakes again. Otherwise, the wrong choices they make might end up costing them their future.

When a minor commits a crime, it is considered a juvenile offense and is generally treated differently from a crime committed by an adult. Still, a juvenile crime conviction can haunt your son or daughter for the rest of their life.

If your minor son or daughter has been detained or charged with a crime, it is important for you to contact an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney right away. The attorney’s timely intervention might prove to be the difference between a clean record and a conviction that can adversely impact your child’s future.

Kentucky based criminal defense attorney Ron Aslam has worked for several years as a prosecutor as well as a defender and knows how the legal system works better than most other lawyers. He can aggressively defend your child’s rights and – depending on the nature of the crime and various other factors – get the charges dismissed or reduced to the extent possible.

Juvenile Crimes in Kentucky

Under Kentucky law, crimes committed by juveniles are generally classified into two categories – status offenses and public offenses.

Status Offenses

A status offense is an act which is considered a crime only because of the age of the juvenile offender. In other words, the same act, if committed by an adult, will not be considered a crime. The most common examples of status offenses include:

  • Drinking
  • Skipping school
  • Being beyond the control of the parents or guardians
  • Being beyond the control of the school

Public Offenses

A public offense is an act which is considered a crime – irrespective of the age of the offender. In other words, the same act, if committed by an adult, would still be considered a crime. The most common examples of public offenses include:

  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Possession or sale of drugs
  • Sexual and violent crimes

If a minor commits a status offense, two things can happen:

  • The police offer might let the offender go after issuing a stern warning.
  • The police officer might inform the parents of the offender’s actions, issue a stern warning, and then let them go.

In some cases, depending on the seriousness of the crime committed by the offender, the police officer might decide to refer the case to a juvenile court. When they do, the case will be taken over by a probation officer, who might decide to dismiss the charges against the juvenile, proceed with the case informally, or proceed with the case formally.

The probation officer usually takes the following factors into consideration before deciding as to how to proceed with a juvenile’s case:

  • The age of the juvenile (if they are 16 or older, they are more likely to be charged than a juvenile who is under the age of 16)
  • The severity of the crime they committed
  • The juvenile’s gender (the chances of a boy being charged are greater than that of a girl – for the same crime)
  • The evidence against the juvenile
  • Whether or not the juvenile has a past record
  • The juvenile’s social background and past behavior
  • Whether the parents or guardians are capable of controlling the juvenile’s behavior

If the charges against the juvenile are not serious, the probation officer might decide to dismiss them without taking any further action.

If the probation officer decides to proceed with the case informally, the juvenile will be required to appear before the officer or a juvenile court judge. Although no charges are filed against the juvenile in this scenario, they are usually ordered to do one or more of the following:

  • Pay a fine
  • Listen to a lecture
  • Compensate the victim for the damages they incurred as a result of the juvenile’s actions
  • Attend after-school classes
  • Do community service
  • Attend psychological counseling
  • Enter probation

If the probation officer decides to proceed with the case formally, the juvenile will be formally charged and produced in front of a judge. At this stage, depending on the seriousness of the crimes committed by the juvenile, three things can happen:

  • The juvenile can enter into a plea bargain and agree to comply with the conditions imposed on them. The conditions might include attending educational seminars, attending counseling, obeying curfews, and more.
  • The judge might order the juvenile to compensate the victims and attend a diversionary program, which might include community service and counseling. If the juvenile fails to attend the program or ignores the conditions imposed by the court, formal charges might be brought against them.
  • The judge might decide to hold an adjudicatory hearing, in which the prosecutor and the defender can make their arguments – much like a criminal case – at the end of which a verdict is delivered by the judge. Depending on the crimes committed by the juvenile and their past history, the punishment can range from probation to confinement in a detention facility.

In rare cases, juveniles over the age of 14 – depending on the seriousness of the crimes they committed – can be tried as adults.

Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney in Kentucky

A juvenile crime conviction can have far-reaching consequences. It can make it harder for your son or daughter to get public housing, carry a firearm, enlist in the military, or get a job.

Ron Aslam has been at the forefront of defending the rights of Kentucky residents – including juveniles – for several years. Having served as a prosecutor in the past, Ron knows how the criminal justice systems works and how prosecutors build a case against juveniles accused of serious crimes. He can use his knowledge to mount a strong defense for your child and get the charges reduced – or dismissed altogether – depending on the circumstances.

If your child is facing criminal charges in Kentucky, contact Ron Aslam Law Office at 502-581-1676 for a free consultation.       

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