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Juvenile Criminal Defense -- Montgomery County, PA

Obviously, it is extremely upsetting to any family when a juvenile is chared with a crime. The immediate concerns are (1) what sort of punishment is the juvenile facing and (2) will this stay on his or her permanent criminal record.

I am a fierce advocate for my juvenile clients charged with a crime. When a child is criminally charged, parents worry that the system - judges, prosecutors and police - will not recognize the juvenile as the child that he or she really is. A juvenile's criminal defense attorey must prevent this from happening. A juvenile conviction can cripple a child's future. It is critically important to investigate all possible angles and alternative sentencing dispositions to ensure the best possible result for youthful clients.

The PA Juvenile Justice System

The Pennsylvania Juvenile Act sets forth what constitutes a juvenile crime (delinquent acts) and the process by which the courts punish or rehabilitate juveniles who are charged. The PA Juvenile Act provides for a wide range of possible sanctions that a judge can impose.

A juvenile defendant is usually someone who has made an unfortunate, youthful mistake. The juvenile system was originally created to rehabilitate (and not punish) youthful offenders, but tougher laws and more aggressive enforcement have undermined this mission.

It is essential to hire a juvenile law criminal defense lawyer who has the experience and ability to make sure a juvenile's future is not compromised by a poor result in juvenile court. The criminal defense attorney must know all the options available to ensure the child ultimately keeps a clean criminal record and that the records of the arrest may one day be expunged.

Juvenile Crimes in PA -- Do I Need a Lawyer?

Families should not presume that a young person will be treated gently by the system because of his or her age. Rather, the presumption should be that police and prosecutors will seek convictions of juveniles as aggressively as they do adult suspects. A juvenile and his or her parents need an aggressive juvenile criminal defense lawyer to serve as an advocate to guide them through the system and make sure the juvenile gets an acceptable result.

If your child is accused of a delinquent act in Montgomery County, PA or surrounding counties, you need an attorney who knows his way around the juvenile system. At the Law Office of Henry S. Hilles, III in Norristown, I have defended boys and girls charged with all sorts of juvenile crimes and pride myself on developing a good rapport with juveniles and their parents. With my experience as a prosecutor in the Montgomer County District Attorney's Office -- and as a criminal defense attorney -- I am qualified to represent any juvenile charged with a crime.

Juvenile Criminal Defendants

The PA Juvenile Act provides for different terms for the juvenile criminal justice system as opposed to the adult system. For example, crimes are referred to as "delinquent acts", convictions are referred to as "adjudications" and sentences are referred to as ""dispositions".  It is important to hire a PA juvenile crime lawer who thoroughly understands the PA Juvenile Act and can navigate the system to make sure your child gets the best possible result.

Even though juvenile crimes in Pennsylvania are called delinquent acts, juveniles can be charge with almost every type of felony or misdemeanor with which an adult could be charged. There are exceptions, however; homicide is always prosecuted as an adult crime as are other some other violent crimes (such as some robbery and rape charges).

Can Juvenile Charges in PA be Expunged?

Compared to adult court, the juvenile criminal justice system in PA allows for more dispositions that can be expunged. It is obviously very important to understand whether the final result (disposition) can be expunged ahead of time.

The types of results that can be expunged include the following

  • Informal Adjustments
  • Consent Decrees
  • Expungement List Dispositions
  • Cases where the charges are dismissed or withdrawn

 

Call 610-270-8800 to speak to a Montgomery County, PA Juvenile Court Lawyer

As a former prosecutor, I work to maintain good working relationships with judges, prosecutors and court personnel. I am proud of my ability to negotiate positive results for my juvenile clients so that the juvenile can one day get their criminal record expunged. And, if the matter needs to proceed to trial, I am certainly ready and able to fight on behalf of my juvenile client.

If your child has been accused of a crime in Montgomery County, PA, please feel free to call me at 610-270-8800 to discuss your rights and options. 

Call Montgomery County PA Criminal Defense/ DUI lawyer Henry Hilles at 610-270-8800

Or e-mail me at hilles@comcast.net