Philadelphia Juvenile Defense
The Philadelphia Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Zeiger Firm understand how the juvenile criminal justice system affects families and children. The lawyer at the Zeiger Firm also understand that different families have different goals in the juvenile justice system. Most families hire Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney Brian J. Zeiger to fight the case. Mr. Zeiger understands because the person who is the subject of the arrest is a minor, doesn’t mean that you cannot fight the case.
While you do not have a right to a jury trial as a juvenile, you can still fight the case through a motion to suppress and a trial by judge. Mr. Zeiger is an experienced trial lawyer in the juvenile court system in Pennsylvania.
Also in juvenile court, there are two important terms to remember. A Consent Decree is very similar to ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition). If you are offered a consent decree and complete the program, there is no conviction. Further at the hearing where the juvenile is given the consent decree, there is no plea. The juvenile does not stand up and plead guilty or not guilty, so no constitutional rights are forfeited.
A Deferred Adjudication is where the juvenile is found guilty or pleads guilty, but the judgement of guilty is not entered and the juvenile is not adjudicated delinquent. Obviously this is not as good as a consent decree because you have a guilty finding. However, the judge is deferring her final judgement until the end of the period of deferred supervision. In this example, the judge often gives the juvenile, assignments or tasks to complete. After the time of the supervision and completed assignments, if the juvenile has stayed out of trouble the judge will dismiss the case. The juvenile will have no record. Often, the Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Zeiger Firm work to get a deferred adjudication when it seems like all hope is gone.
In juvenile court when someone is found guilty or admits to their conduct, they are not sentenced, but instead adjudicated delinquent. The judge determines the amount of accountability, rehabilitation, treatment, and supervision needed for the juvenile, and plans accordingly. Sometimes, this includes placement. The attorneys at the Zeiger Firm work hard with the parents and guardians of the children to ensure the child is in the proper setting. Mr. Zeiger understands some parents do not want their children placed and he works hard to get the child home. However, Mr. Zeiger also understands some parents think their children will do better and be safe at a juvenile placement, so he can also help the family work with the court as far as which placements are available for the juvenile.
The reason these steps are important is because a juvenile accrues prior record score points for purposes of sentencing as an adult offender when they are adjudicated delinquent. Most prior record score points lapse when the juvenile turns 27 years old, however, some remain for life. Therefore, it’s important to understand all of the ramifications of a juvenile adjudication of delinquency.
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Contact the Philadelphia Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Zeiger Firm now for a free consultation at 215.546.0340. Mr. Zeiger is available now.
When you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney to represent a person in a juvenile matter, contact The Zeiger Firm, who represents every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case. To arrange a consultation, please give us a call at 215-546-0340 or send us an email via the form to the left.