In Massachusetts, children as young as six years of age who are charged with criminal offenses are tried in Juvenile Court. If your child has been charged with a crime in a Massachusetts Juvenile Court, you are probably experiencing many things: shock, anger, anxiety, shame, but most of all, concern for your child and his or her future.
As parents, we teach our children to take responsibility for their actions. If your child breaks a neighbor’s window playing baseball, you march him next door to the understanding neighbor to confess and offer to pay for the damage.
We also teach our children that the police are there to help them. Unfortunately, those lessons can backfire when applied to a juvenile justice setting. The police are interested in charging someone for a crime, not in helping your child. A well-intended attempt to accept responsibility often lands a child in deeper trouble that will follow them for decades.
Don’t take Juvenile Court charges lightly. Instead of trying to manage the situation on your own, enlist the help of a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience in Juvenile Court. Your child’s future could depend on it.
The juvenile justice system differs from the adult justice system in many respects, including the penalties for various violations. The juvenile system is also supposed to provide certain protections for youthful offenders. Therefore, it is critical that the attorney you select be experienced not only in criminal defense, but defense in the juvenile justice context.
This is likely also your family’s first contact with the justice system. Both you and your child will have many questions and anxieties about what lies ahead. You will want an attorney who is responsive, returns your calls promptly, and is both straightforward and compassionate. You will also want an attorney who recognizes that your child is still a child, but who doesn’t talk down to your child. Your attorney, in short, should treat your entire family with respect.
So much is at stake when your child is charged with a crime. They may face expulsion from school, difficulty getting into college, loss of scholarships and financial aid if they do get into college. They may face incarceration or probation.
With so much on the line, you need to call Boston juvenile crimes attorney Henry Fasoldt as soon as your child is charged. He will guide and support your family through this process as he puts his extensive knowledge of the juvenile justice system to work for you and your child. Contact our office today.