Representing Minors Facing Criminal Charges
Young offenders need to be treated differently from adults. Young people have their whole lives ahead of them. Society understands that when the young make a mistake it is more beneficial to pursue rehabilitation over punishment.
When The System Fails
The Virginia courts face a large volume of petitions. The system is under constant pressure to process cases quickly. This means that not every case is carefully reviewed. Not every case, or child, is given the fair chance needed to turn a mistake into the opportunity for growth, understanding and change it presents.
If your child faces an adjudicatory hearing, contact me, attorney Joseph Thelin. I am thoroughly familiar with the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, the court rules and procedures. I can offer the personal legal guidance and support your family needs to move through this to a more positive future.
Protecting Your Privacy
Juvenile courts differ in some ways from adult courts. One of them is on the issue of privacy. It is important to note that:
- All juvenile cases in Virginia begin in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDR Court).
- All JDR Court hearings are closed to the public.
- Juvenile files are confidential. Only authorized individuals are allowed to view them.
- Juvenile charges are brought on petitions, not warrants or summons.
- Petitions allege the child is delinquent or that the child needs services or supervision.
As your attorney, I will offer legal support and guidance through the entire process. Navigating juvenile court is not always a simple process. Get the experienced counsel you need.
Working Together For A Positive Outcome
There are several options available at the juvenile defense level. Some of them include referral to social services or community service instead of detention or jail. Other options include:
- A warning, restitution or fines instead of detention
- Suspension of a driver’s license instead of detention
- Attending counseling or treatment programs