Help Is Here For Your Child Facing Charges As A Juvenile
If you or your child faces charges as a juvenile, the first thing you must do is find a juvenile defense attorney to represent your child and defend their legal rights during the process. At DTurner Legal, LLC, we care about your child’s future and about helping them understand the court system process, their rights and the choices they have at each step.
Most importantly, we will fight to keep them out of adult court. Our attorneys have over a decade of combined legal experience defending clients in the Indianapolis area and they are here to help your family face these charges. We also represent children and adults facing Child in Need of Services (CHINS) proceedings.
Common Juvenile Charges
In Indiana, juveniles are defined as anyone under the age of 18. Common charges juveniles face include lower-level offenses such as:
- Shoplifting and other minor theft
- Underage drinking
- Possession of small amounts of drugs
Some juveniles also face serious felony-level charges, such as:
- Distribution of drugs
- Armed robbery
- Assault and battery
The prosecutor can decide whether to charge a juvenile in adult court for their offense. The more serious the offense, the more likely a prosecutor will pursue charges as an adult. If you are charged as an adult, you serve an adult sentence and have an adult record. We will fight to keep you or your child out of adult court.
How Is Juvenile Court Different?
Juvenile court is geared toward rehabilitation and protection rather than punishment. Here are several other ways juvenile court differs from adult court:
- The juvenile court also oversees CHINS proceedings, which involve children who need supervision or care for various reasons.
- The juvenile court does not actually convict the minor of a crime, but rather adjudicates them as a delinquent if their offense would be a crime if committed by an adult.
- Certain laws only apply to juveniles, like underage drinking and truancy. These cases can be heard in adult court but are less likely than serious or violent offenses.
- The constitutional rights of juveniles are slightly different than those of an adult.
- A social worker will almost always be assigned to each juvenile case.
Juveniles can face penalties such as probation, curfew, time in a detention facility or a mandated training school. We know the law and the juvenile court system. We will fight for your best interest at every step.
Sealing Or Expunging Your Record
You may be surprised to learn that in Indiana, you must petition the court to seal your juvenile criminal record or your CHINS record through the expungement process. The court does not do this automatically when you turn 18. Even your CHINS record is surprisingly available to certain groups. Sealing these records is both a matter of privacy and protecting your future. It will allow you to put your past behind you and move forward with a fresh start.
Let Us Help
The sooner you call us, the sooner we can get to work helping your child fight their charges. We offer free initial consultations. To schedule an appointment, please call 317-868-5916 or send an online message today.