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What Legal Options Exist for Juveniles Charged with Non-Violent Crimes in Kansas?

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What Are the Consequences of Juvenile Crimes in Kansas?

Criminal cases involving children can be complex, considering they are handled differently from adult criminal cases in state court. Working with skilled family lawyers in Overland Park can make the burden easier as they walk you through the juvenile justice system while skillfully protecting your child’s rights, freedom, and future.

The consequences of criminal charges extend beyond the legal punishment and may include:

  • Their educational activities become inhibited in various ways, and a promising future is in doubt. They may face disciplinary actions at school, including expulsions. A criminal record can affect their eligibility for specific scholarships and admissions.
  • Their career opportunities can become limited as most employers conduct background checks. A past criminal record can adversely impact their chances of securing job types or professional licenses.
  • Social stigma: Minors who face juvenile charges can become the subject of social stigma and reputational damage. They may face prejudice from peers and other community members, which they can find challenging to overcome if not well-guided.

With the representation of legal experts knowledgeable in juvenile justice, you can be in a better position to fight for and protect your child’s rights. You will also be well-informed about what to expect and what legal options exist for your child.

What Happens If a Juvenile Is Arrested for a Crime?

If a minor gets arrested for a crime, the officer will take them to the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center (JIAC). The officers will evaluate the young offender for things like their academic progress, whether they have been in trouble before, and whether they use drugs or alcohol.

The assessment is crucial in helping the JIAC determine which programs minors can enroll in to help them stay out of trouble in the future. Criminal defense lawyers in Overland Park explain that after the assessment, the minor can go home and appear in court later or be taken to the Juvenile Detention Facility (JDF).

The outcome depends on the nature and extent of the crime. Misdemeanor offenses or non-violent crimes such as petty theft, possession of marijuana, or disorderly conduct can have the minor released than if they are charged with more violent or felony offenses. The release depends on the minor’s past criminal history.

What Happens When a Minor Goes to Court?

The minor will meet the attorney assigned to their case at the court, or you can hire one for them. Overland Park criminal defense attorneys will evaluate the case and advise on legal options and punishments as provided in the Juvenile Justice Code Book. Typically, a minor offender has three options when facing charges:

Trial

Every offender has a right to a fair trial, which can be in front of a jury or judge. During the proceeding, the prosecutor has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the minor committed the crime in question. The law requires them to produce concrete evidence, such as eyewitnesses, to support their claims.

Your Overland Park criminal defense lawyers can challenge the prosecutor’s claims in the minor’s defense. They can cross-examine the witnesses to establish the validity of their testimony. The accused may also testify to defend themselves, but they don’t have to.

Diversion

Diversion is a legal option available for first-time non-violent crime offenders. One significant advantage of this option is that the charges eventually get dismissed at the end of the process. The criminal defense lawyers in Overland Park representing your child will evaluate the case to determine eligibility for the program, which is strict and requires more commitment than probation.

Failure to complete the 6-12-month program will result in the enrolment being revoked, and the minor will have to appear in court. They will be sentenced as though they never enrolled in the diversion in the first place. Let skilled legal representatives walk your child through the process to ensure they complete it successfully.

Guilty or No Contest Plea

With the guidance of skilled criminal defense attorneys, your child can avoid trial by pleading guilty or no contest to the charges, meaning they admit to committing the crime.

Pleading no contest means the child is neither admitting nor denying committing the crime, but they are not fighting the charge. Overall, the judge finds the young offender guilty.

Criminal defense lawyers in Overland Park explain that one reason to plead guilty or take the no-contest plea is to avoid trial, especially if the likelihood is high that the court will find the defendant guilty. The prosecutor may also be willing to offer a reduced charge or lighter sentence in exchange for the plea.

What Happens If a Minor Is Found Guilty?

A guilty verdict at trial or pleading guilty or no contest doesn’t mean a minor will be convicted. Instead, they will be adjudicated unless the prosecutor requests the judge to treat the minor as an adult instead of a juvenile. After adjudication, the judge could impose one of the following possible sentences:

  • Standard probation
  • Intensive supervised probation
  • Juvenile Justice Authority Custody
  • Commitment to a Juvenile Correctional Facility
  • Sanction house commitment

The legal penalties vary based on the severity of the crime. Consult with your child’s lawyers to understand these options and how to secure the most favorable outcome.

An Experienced Family Attorney Helping Your Child Navigate Juvenile Charges

It can be stressful to have your child facing criminal charges. While you want the best for them, it doesn’t mean they should “get away” with bad behavior. Youthful mistakes don’t make juvenile offenders criminals, and you can help them navigate this challenging time by enlisting the legal representation of experienced Overland Park family attorneys.

The criminal defense attorneys at Barnds Law LLC can look into your child’s case and provide the necessary legal assistance. We dedicate ourselves to helping families going through the criminal justice system find favorable solutions. Call us at 913-514-0909 to schedule a strategy session.

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