Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer in Forest, VA

When children have been accused of committing a crime, their futures are in jeopardy. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney will provide your child with the best opportunity to avoid a criminal record. The skilled attorneys at Straw Law Firm have helped juveniles in Forest and throughout central Virginia who have been charged with a wide range of crimes, including underage drinking, trespassing, vandalism, traffic violations, and more. Reach out to our compassionate, effective attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation. 

We Provide Clients With Compassionate Representation

Learning that your child has been arrested and charged with a crime can be a jarring and disturbing experience. The attorneys at Straw Law Firm understand how devastating it can be for you to know that your child is facing criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys handle juvenile crimes with compassion and empathy. We will work diligently to mitigate your child’s consequences as much as possible. 

Throughout the process, we will make sure that you understand the steps of the process, your child’s legal options, and that all of your questions are answered. You want our clients to know what to expect because we will explain the legal process every step of the way. We will discuss the consequences your child faces. Our legal representation aims to find a solution that helps your child overcome his or her current legal challenges. 

Types of Juvenile Criminal Cases We Handle 

In the eyes of the court, juveniles are sometimes treated with more leniency than adults. However, the consequences of any criminal charge can be serious and negatively impact your child’s future. For example, if your teenager has been caught possessing tobacco products, you may not think it is a very serious criminal charge. Nonetheless, if your child is convicted, that crime could stay on their record and negatively affect their career, educational options, and more. The criminal defense attorneys at Straw Law Firm have successfully defended clients charged with all of the following types of crimes:

  • Underage DUI/DWI (18.2-266 or 18.2-266.1)
  • Possession of tobacco products
  • Refusal to submit to a breath or drug test (18.2-267)
  • Reckless Driving (46.2-852 and 46.2-861)
  • Shoplifting/Grand Larceny (18.2-95 and 18.2-103)
  • Sex Crimes
  • Felony charges
  • Marijuana Possession and Distribution (18.2-248 and 18.2-250)
  • Destruction of Property (18.2-137 and 18.2-138)
  • Underage Drinking and Underage Possession of Alcohol (4.1-305)
  • Assault and Battery (18.2-57, 18.2-57.2)
  • Probation violations
  • Trespassing (18.2-119)

Penalties for Juvenile Crimes in Virginia

The penalties for a juvenile criminal charge depend on the type of criminal charge. Penalties can include probation, community service, and rehabilitative treatment. When a minor has been charged with a more serious crime, the judge may decide to send the minor to a Juvenile Correction Center or a privately-operated residential facility to serve out a sentence. Other consequences of a juvenile conviction include:

  • Supervised probation
  • Intensive supervision program
  • Anger  management
  • Shelter care
  • Home-based services
  • Victim impact class
  • Anger management
  • Shoplifter offender program
  • Intensive supervision program
  • Shelter care
  • Boys probation house
  • FInes
  • Restitution
  • Loss of operator’s license or suspension of ability to obtain an operator’s license

If your child is in custody and awaiting a trial for a serious crime, whether it is a DUI, theft, or a drug-related crime, it is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can begin gathering evidence and developing a legal strategy to defend your child and advocate for a dismissal of the charges against them or a plea bargain for lesser charges. 

Other Consequences of a Juvenile Criminal Conviction

Anytime a juvenile is charged with a crime, their future is on the line. The consequences of being convicted for a criminal charge go beyond serving a sentence in a Juvenile Correction Center. A conviction could adversely affect your child’s future. For example, being convicted of a felony or some misdemeanors could make it difficult for your child to be admitted to college, join the military, or obtain gainful employment. 

When are Juveniles Tried as Adults Under Virginia Law?

Virginia courts consider multiple factors when a teen has been arrested for a crime. The court may decide to try your child as an adult. These cases are called juvenile transfer cases because the case is moved to a Virginia adult criminal court. A court will consider the seriousness of the crime and the child’s level of participation when deciding whether to try a child as an adult.

If your child has been transferred and will be tried as an adult, you are probably concerned and frightened for your child’s well-being, understandably. In these cases, it is even more critical to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the adult criminal system.

Getting Your Child’s Juvenile Criminal Records Expunged

In Virginia, expungement of your child’s record is automatic for misdemeanor-level charges. If your child were found delinquent in a misdemeanor case, the state of Virginia would destroy the court records when he or she turns 19 and at least five years have passed since the final hearing. This process is known as expungement. There are a few exceptions, however. The record would remain public if your child were convicted of a felony and treated as an adult. If the case was dismissed or your child was found not guilty, you can request that the records be destroyed. 

Reach Out to an Experienced Juvenile Defense Attorney in Forest

One mistake should not ruin your child’s life forever, which is why the attorneys at Straw Law Firm work tirelessly to protect juveniles facing criminal charges. We understand the significance of the consequences of a juvenile crime and what is at stake. That is why we work so hard to resolve the matter favorably to see your child can pursue their dreams and goals without hindrance. Contact the Forest juvenile defense attorneys at Straw Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about how we can fight for your child.