Handling Youthful Offenders

People who break the law at the age of 18 or younger, as a consequence of their age, are not considered to be 'criminals' but instead, 'juvenile delinquents'. This doesn't mean, however, that there are not consequences for delinquent acts. For particularly severe offenses, some juveniles could be tried as adults, and face the same sentencing guidelines, which can be devastating for a young life.

Typically, however, juveniles go through a different system than adults, one that is aimed at correcting the behavior while preventing further offenses and allowing the juvenile a chance to make better decisions in the future.

What Are Some Typical Juvenile Offenses?

Juvenile offenses can be relatively minor or serious, and include charges of:

  • Truancy
  • Vandalism
  • Shoplifting
  • Curfew violations
  • Drug possession
  • Underage drinking
  • Assault

These offenses are classified and dealt with according to whether the same offense, if committed by an adult, would be considered a crime.

Juvenile offenses don't go through a traditional trial, but rather a process known as 'adjudication.' Because of the potential for rehabilitation, juveniles often have greater sentencing alternatives than adults, and may receive probation, community service, drug treatment or another alternative to fines and incarceration.

Preserve A Young Future

If your child is facing juvenile charges in Pennsylvania, contact a lawyer to help them back onto a productive path. A youthful offense need not lead to a lifetime of consequences. To speak to one of the attorneys at our Lancaster office, call Marinaro Law Firm at 717-406-1794 or toll free at 866-614-6520, or email us.