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Posted on in Juvenile Crimes

CT defense lawyerIf your child commits a crime while they are under the age of 17, the offense will generally be handled in juvenile court, which is focused far more on rehabilitation than on punishment. However, sometimes the offense will not be serious enough to be sent to adult court, but serious enough to warrant further supervision. In these cases, the answer is usually to remand the juvenile to detention. This is less common than it used to be, but it will happen in some cases, and if it does, it is important for both you and your child to understand your rights in this situation.

15 Days Max - Usually

Most situations in which a minor is arrested in Connecticut will end in their being released to their parents with a promise to appear in juvenile court in days or weeks. However, if the child has committed a more serious offense, authorities have the option of sending them to juvenile detention until the next business day, when arraignment will usually happen. Unlike in adult court, bail is not required in juvenile court, and minors may not post bail of their own accord, so very often a minor will remain in the detention center until their arraignment.

In all but the rarest cases, the maximum amount of time a juvenile can remain in detention is 15 days. The only time this will be extended is if the juvenile has committed a serious juvenile offense (SJO), which is a crime which may (and frequently must) merit transferring the case to adult court. The list of SJOs include approximately 50 felonies, such as murder, sexual assault, and first-degree robbery, and kidnapping. If your child has been charged with an SJO, the likelihood of them remaining in juvenile detention is quite high even if the case remains in the juvenile court system.

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Posted on in Juvenile Crimes

CT defense lawyerAdults can be charged with driving under the influence when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. But underage drivers (any driver under 21 years old) can be charged when their BAC is .02 percent. Connecticut has zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving, which means that any alcohol in your system or on your breath is grounds for arrest. That does not leave underage drivers with any wiggle room. The moral of the story for underage drivers is, do not get behind the wheel after having any alcohol.

The Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving

Driving under the influence is a criminal offense in Connecticut, whether you are an adult or underage. Underage first offenders are subject to the following consequences:

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CT defense lawyerIn the months of December and January, many young people in Connecticut experience significant extra free time while on winter break from school. During this time, holiday hijinks or unmonitored social time may sometimes result in a juvenile’s being saddled with criminal charges. Make no mistake, juvenile criminal charges in Connecticut are a serious matter and must be defended against accordingly.

There exists a misconception that everything that happens in life before the age of majority, including juvenile criminal charges, are just magically wiped away at the age of eighteen. This is not the case. While the state’s juvenile justice system is charged with protecting the constitutional and legal rights of minors, it is not reasonable to assume that a juvenile conviction will simply disappear when the juvenile reaches 18 or 21 years of age. As such, it is imperative that a juvenile facing criminal charges in Connecticut be represented by an experienced Fairfield County juvenile criminal defense attorney.

Common Juvenile Criminal Charges in Connecticut

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut juvenile attorneyLarceny is the intentional withholding of property belonging to someone else with no intention of giving it back. Convictions range from a misdemeanor to a felony based on the valued amount of the item or items taken. Many parents enter into panic mode upon hearing news that a child faces accusations of larceny. The reaction is justifiable as these charges can affect the entire future of the accused as such a stigma can severely stunt educational and employment opportunities. Your child’s future may be preserved if the appropriate action occurs quickly.

Is a juvenile record sealed or expunged at 18?

Many mistakenly believe that all criminal history before the age of 18 is automatically sealed and not visible to potential schools and employers. If the case in question was dropped or dismissed, the record erases immediately. However, if there is a conviction, a petition must be completed to have the incident “erased.” Sealing and expungement is not an option in these cases, but erasing will prevent everyone outside of a courtroom from seeing the record.

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Stamford juvenile crime defense attorneyJuvenile crimes are among some of the most heartbreaking, especially where parents and loved ones are concerned. Everything from bullying, campus crimes, sex offenses, and drug allegations continue to impact not only the juveniles found guilty of such crimes, but families, friends, and, of course, victims, as well. Anyone involved in these juvenile offenses can testify to the life-altering effects brought on by such tragic behavior.

Recent Developments in Juvenile Crime Rates

As of January 2016, Connecticut has seen a 54 percent decrease in annual juvenile arrests and incarcerations since 2009.  During that same period, there has been a 75 percent decrease in inmates under the age of 18. These statistics are encouraging, driven by the “Raise the Age” state initiative that went into effect back in 2012, which raised the age of juvenile jurisdiction to age 18. Additionally, the percentage of young offender cohort arrests declined, and arrest rates for juveniles aged 16 to 21 on an annual basis have been consistently dropping.

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Fairfield County juvenile defense attorneyIt is very common for parents of children facing a juvenile offense to feel overwhelmed following the initial accusation. Is your child really guilty? How could they have committed such a crime? Who will be responsible financially, and how long or how severe will the punishment be? Juvenile crime cases can affect a child’s future in countless ways, especially when they occur during or around graduation time, during college, or before a big life transition. Jobs, career paths, and even college plans can all be impacted as a result of a juvenile offense.

Common Juvenile Criminal Offenses

The state of Connecticut sees young offenders get involved with everything from drug, theft, and assault crimes to more serious and dangerous crimes, such as murder and sex crimes. Some common juvenile criminal offenses that require proper legal representation include:

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Connecticut juvenile offenders, criminal defense lawyer in StamfordAccording to a national report, Connecticut is among several states that are trendsetters in matters pertaining to juvenile justice. The report is based on changes to state law that have been enacted during the last decade. This is good news for juvenile offenders who face many risks entering the Connecticut juvenile justice system.

Connecticut, along with Illinois and Mississippi, have increased the age of jurisdiction of juvenile courts to treat older youths as juveniles rather than as adults for purposes of criminal prosecution. As of 2011, 17-year-olds are considered to be juveniles for purposes of criminal law. Before the change, 16- and 17-year-olds were considered to be adults.

Connecticut is also one of ten states that have amended their laws to make it more difficult to transfer juveniles from juvenile court to adult court. The other states are Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Transferring youths to the adult court system is a way for states to treat young offenders as adults for purposes of criminal law.

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