The first concern should be with preventing your child from accumulating a juvenile record.
Protecting Arkansas families
When a child gets into trouble, many parents/guardians are torn between wanting to see their child experience consequences in order to learn from their actions and wanting to protect them from what can often be an unforgiving system. If your child is facing juvenile-delinquency charges, the attorneys at Lassiter & Cassinelli are here to tell you that the first concern should be with preventing your child from accumulating a juvenile record. Your child does not need to be thrown into the juvenile-justice system to experience behavior modification. That can be done elsewhere, and our attorneys can help you locate these services.
Priority needs to be placed on protecting that child’s future at all costs. Do NOT permit your child to make a statement to law enforcement or school officials without an attorney present. Even though juvenile-delinquency cases are sealed to the public, an adjudication can follow a juvenile around for the rest of his or her life, whether attempting to enlist in the military, seek certifications or particular employment opportunities, attend college, or other pursuits.
We’re Ready for Your Juvenile Delinquency Case
My child has been arrested. What do I do?
Call an attorney immediately. Do NOT permit your child to make a statement to law enforcement without an attorney present. In Arkansas, a juvenile’s parent or guardian must agree in writing for them to be questioned by law enforcement without an attorney present. DO NOT AGREE TO THIS!
What sort of consequences is my child facing in a juvenile-delinquency case?
If adjudicated delinquent (guilty) of any criminal offense, whether a misdemeanor or felony, a juvenile court may:
- Transfer the juvenile’s legal custody
- Commit the juvenile to the Division of Youth Services (DYS), where the juvenile will remain in custody until he or she meets treatment objectives or turns 21 year old, whichever occurs first.
- Order physical, psychiatric, or psychological evaluations of the juvenile or his or her family
- Grant permanent custody to an individual
- Place the juvenile on probation, which involves abiding by a set of written conditions for an indeterminate or set period of time;
- Order the juvenile to pay a fine, court costs, and/or restitution
- Order the juvenile to complete community service work
- Detain the juvenile for up to 90 days in a juvenile detention facility
- Suspend driving privileges
The sentencing court is required to impose the least restrictive alternative. However, what that alternative may be in a particular case is usually debatable. That is why you need to ensure that your child has proper legal representation through all stages of their juvenile-delinquency cases.