We have two main goals in all juvenile cases we take on; first is to make sure your child can continue on with his or her normal life during and after the case. This means we will do whatever it takes to keep your child in school and living at home. Second, we will fight to make sure your child's future is not permanently affected by a criminal conviction or finding of delinquency. The importance of each of these goals cannot be understated, and these are thing we take extremely seriously. The Firm is prepared to take on all types of criminal juvenile cases in any Maryland jurisdiction, and we have the experience and dedication to achieve the best possible outcome for your child.
Juveniles can be arrested or cited with the same types of crimes as adults, but the number and ratio of arrests for certain crimes are higher for juveniles than adults. Burglary, destruction of property, and auto theft are examples of crimes that have a high ratio of arrests for offenders under the age of 18. Drug arrests for offenses such as marijuana possession and marijuana distribution are also common amongst teenagers. Assault is another crime that is common in the juvenile system, especially when these incidents occur in school. State laws on school assaults are especially harsh, and should be handled by a lawyer who understands these complex laws. DUI is perhaps the most common adult crime, but these cases are not as common with teens due to the difficulty of obtain access to a vehicle. But alcohol crimes such as possession are highly common amongst teens.
In many juvenile criminal cases, the child is arrested and booked as an adult until the court makes a determination that the child’s case should be transferred to juvenile court. Under state law almost every child that is arrested as adult will be entitled to a transfer hearing to determine where the case will go. The court will typically set a transfer hearing and hear reasons why the child should or should not stay in adult court. The court will consider many factors in making this determination, and without a doubt the most influential factors are public safety and the facts behind the child's alleged crime. Among the other factors that the court may consider include the age of the child, the mental and physical condition of the child, and whether the child appears to be amenable to treatment in a juvenile program. The court must make a transfer determination within 10 days after the transfer hearing.
Juvenile cases are treated much differently in the criminal justice system than in the adult system. Theses cases are sealed from public inspection, but this does not mean that they will not show up on a background check. These cases do not just go away when the child becomes an adult, and it is important to treat the defense of a juvenile case as you would an adult criminal case. The consequences for conviction can be severe, but with the right representation you and your child can avoid these consequences. Contact Benjamin Herbst today for a free case evaluation at 410-207-2598.