No parent wants to get the call saying their teen is in jail. Unfortunately, teenagers often end up in positions that put them on the wrong side of the law. Teenage juvenile charges can have a significant negative impact on a teen’s future. If your teen has been arrested, an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney in Virginia can help fight to have your teen’s charges dropped or reduced.
Under Virginia law, teenagers can face criminal charges for a variety of crimes. Nearly any crime that an adult can be charged with, a Virginia teen could potentially also be charged with. In some cases, the law treats teenagers even more harshly.
For example, if an adult driver is pulled over by Virginia police while driving, they’ll probably be let go if they have only a small amount of alcohol in their system. However, like many states, Virginia takes a firm stance against underage drinking and driving. The state’s underage driving and driving laws mean that if a teen has 0.02% or more alcohol in their system, they can be arrested for underage DUI.
Some of the many types of juvenile criminal charges handled by the experienced team of criminal defense attorneys at Buczek Carpenter, PC include:
Unfortunately, Virginia juvenile court judges often choose the path of “setting an example” or “teaching a lesson.” That means it’s a mistake to assume that your teen will get off lightly for a one-time mistake.
When a Virginia teenager is facing criminal charges that could derail their future, it’s important to involve a skilled Virginia juvenile criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
A lawyer will promptly meet with your teenager and discuss the events that led to their arrest. Your lawyer will work to quickly understand the situation and keep you advised of the possible options.
The first major step after a juvenile arrest is the intake hearing. At this point, you’ll learn whether formal charges will be filed. A skilled lawyer might be able to have your teen’s charges dropped at this point, especially if the police lack evidence or fail to follow proper procedures. This is often a risk in cases involving juvenile arrest.
Law enforcement officers frequently try to take advantage of the fact that teenagers don’t always know their legal rights and obligations. An experienced lawyer may be able to cite unfair or illegal police tactics as a valid cause for having the charges dropped.
If circumstances make it impossible to have the charges dropped, it’s still possible for a lawyer to achieve a resolution at the intake hearing. They can work to achieve an option like community service, rehab, or referral to diversion through the Juvenile Community Services Unit.
If your teen’s case goes to court, a skilled lawyer may be able to craft a winning defense. If your teen wins the case, they’ll walk away. If they lose the case, a lawyer can again argue for outcomes like community service, lenient sentencing or deferred findings for possible dismissal/reduction in charges.
If your teen has been arrested, they’re probably feeling scared and worried about the future. There’s also a good chance that they don’t know the first thing about how to handle this sort of situation. Your teen needs to say as little as possible to the police officers who arrested them.
If you have the opportunity to speak with them on the phone, tell them not to discuss the situation that led to their arrest. That includes talking to friends or family over the jail phone, as well as any individual they’ve been detained with.
Make sure your teenager knows to act cooperatively but not to engage in conversation. When they’re questioned by police, tell them to say they want to speak with their lawyer or their parents.
Once a teenager is arrested in Virginia, law enforcement officers are allowed to question them without the parents present, but only if the parents have been informed of the arrest and have been given the chance to speak with their child.
You should call a Virginia criminal defense attorney who handles juvenile cases as soon as you learn your teen has been arrested. The sooner you involve a lawyer, the better your teen’s outcome will likely be.
If your teenager was arrested in Stafford County, the City of Fredericksburg and the surrounding areas, time is limited. The experienced juvenile criminal defense attorneys at Buczek Carpenter, PC have a strong track record of successfully helping families navigate the Virginia juvenile justice system. With the right defense, you can rest assured that your teen’s future is in experienced, capable hands.
Contact Buczek Carpenter, PC today to learn how a Virginia juvenile defense lawyer can help.