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. Holt Law will fight for you.

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.

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. I will work hard with the parents and guardians of the children to ensure the child is in the proper setting. I understands some parents do not want their children placed and I works hard to get the child home. However, I also understand that 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.

If you need an criminal defense attorney in Central Pennsylvania to represent you or a loved one in a juvenile matter, call Holt Law at 717-562-1777