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CT defense lawyerMany parents tend to look past teenage misbehavior as mere pranks, or “boys-will-be-boys” type of hijinks. In reality, young adults can be charged with serious crimes if their behavior warrants it, and the penalties can be severe. If your child has been charged with a crime, it is important that you seek out a Stamford juvenile justice lawyer who is experienced with handling these types of matters.

Juvenile vs. Adult Court

The idea of your child being charged with a crime can be quite distressing to a parent, and it should be taken seriously. However, if your child is charged as a juvenile, it is important to keep in mind that the system is very different than it would be for an adult. Juveniles are not convicted of crimes unless charged as adults; rather, they are ‘adjudicated delinquent.’ Generally, the juvenile system is seen as much more rehabilitative than the punishing adult court system; most offenses are seen as learning opportunities rather than strikes that should haunt a young adult for life.

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Connecticut defense lawyerAdolescents are notorious for their hasty and often poor decision-making. While this type of behavior is often just a nuisance for parents, it can have serious consequences when the youth’s actions lead to criminal charges, as having a permanent criminal record can make it difficult to secure employment, find housing, join the military, or take advantage of educational opportunities. Fortunately, those who are prosecuted as juveniles may be able to have their records expunged, so if you or your child were convicted of an offense in juvenile court, it is critical to contact a Fairfield criminal defense attorney who can walk you through the process of erasing your criminal record.

Eligibility

When a minor commits a crime, his or her case will most likely be adjudicated in juvenile court. However, this is only true when the minor qualifies as a youthful offender, which means that he or she has not been charged with any serious offenses and does not have a prior criminal record. These offenders are generally given more privacy, as their proceedings are not public and are conducted separately from adult criminal matters. Furthermore, the records of youthful offenders are erased automatically when they turn 21 years old, but only if they:

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