Lancaster County Juvenile Attorney
If your child is under the age of 18 and has been charged with a crime, you know how damaging has been to your family. Beyond your personal life, a juvenile crime has the ability to negatively impact the rest of your child’s life. Contradictory to popular belief, juvenile crimes do not get erased from a minor’s record when they turn 18. It is important to act quickly and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help ease the conviction of your child’s crime.
Lancaster Juvenile Crimes
We have over 50 years of combined experience fighting these convictions in areas such as West Chester, Quarryville, Ephrata, Intercourse, Lititz, Manheim, Paradise, and Lancaster. We can help minimize your child’s sentencing and the negative impacts the charge will have on his or her life.
There are several different types of juvenile crimes our attorneys have experience fighting such as:
- Pre-charge Juvenile representation
- Juvenile Probation Interviews
- Juvenile Court representation
- Summary Level representation including underage drinking and retail theft
- Drug and alcohol related offenses
- Underage DUI Offenses
- School related crimes
- High School Crimes
- College Offenses
- Assault and violent crimes
- Breaking and entering and burglary
- Harassment and stalking
- Marijuana possession and use
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Juvenile Defense
Parents are often frightened and concerned when their child is arrested and charged with a criminal offense. How will this arrest affect their life? Will they have a permanent criminal record? Will they spend time behind bars? Will they miss out on future educational and employment opportunities? Where do we go from here? While juveniles who have committed criminal offenses should face their mistakes, it is important that their penalties focus on rehabilitation and on providing them with the tools and opportunities to better their futures. Sadly, this is not always the case and many juveniles who are arrested suddenly find themselves facing serious criminal charges in an adult court of law.
When this happens, it is important to speak to an experienced and skilled Lancaster County juvenile defense lawyer immediately. Your attorney will need to build a solid defense for your child and help petition the courts to keep their case in the juvenile court system. Without an attorney on your side, your child could face a lifetime behind bars and consequences that could irreversibly alter the course of their life forever.
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Lancaster County juvenile defense attorney can help you and your family find the answers to all of your legal questions during this time. You can contact our office by email or by phone at (717) 291-9400 or 877 529-2422. When you contact our Lancaster County, Pennsylvania juvenile defense attorneys today, you can rest assured knowing your child has a team of experienced juvenile defense lawyers on their side protecting their rights, their freedom, and their future.
Juvenile Crime in Lancaster County & Pennsylvania
Lancaster County is located in the south central part of Pennsylvania and is a popular tourist destination because of the Amish community that lives and resides here. Over a half million residents call Lancaster County their home and it is the 8th most populous area in the state. Lancaster County also leads the nation in farmland preservation and to date has preserved more than 100,000 acres of farmland.
In 2016, 127 juveniles were sent to detention centers in Lancaster County for an average of 18 days.
One of the juvenile detention centers in Lancaster County is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Circle Avenue. It provides a safe environment for juveniles that are detained, seeking shelter, or enrolled in alternative treatment programs. The facility has a 48 bed detention center, a 36 bed shelter center, and a 12 bed P.U.L.S.E Weekend program. Its mission is to provide temporary and safe custody for juveniles between the ages of 10 and 18 who are accused of committing criminal acts. They are detained here while pending legal action.
According to the 2016 Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Dispositions, 936 juveniles were convicted of committing substantiated offenses that same year. Of those, 229 committed an offense to a person, 415 were property crimes, and 122 were drug offenses. 170 offenses committed that year were classified as “other” which includes disorderly conduct and firearm offenses.
Juveniles & Adult Crimes in Lancaster County
In the state of Pennsylvania, juveniles under the age of 18 can still be tried in an adult court of law. A juvenile can be charged as an adult for criminal offenses that are violent in nature, such as murder (42 Pa. C. S. Sec. 6302) or use of a deadly weapons (42 Pa. C. S. Sec. 6355(g)). Before deciding to send a minor to adult court, a judge will review the case closely and determine if the juvenile can be rehabilitated in the juvenile court system. They will also examine the offense committed and its effect on the victim, as well as the general public.
Before being transferred to an adult court, a petition in the Juvenile Court alleging delinquency must be filed. A hearing will then take place to determine if the case should be sent to adult court or if it is in the public and child’s best interest for it to continue proceeding in juvenile court. If your child’s case is moving to an adult court, it is imperative that you speak to one of our experienced and aggressive Lancaster County juvenile defense lawyers immediately. Your child could face serious penalties and consequences if they are convicted of a crime in an adult court of law.
Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyers in Lancaster County
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Lancaster County juvenile criminal defense lawyers have successfully represented juveniles accused of committing a variety of crimes, including:
- Underage drinking
- Disorderly conduct
- Assault or battery
- Possession of marijuana
- Drug sales, trafficking, or possession
- Bullying or other school offenses
- Traffic violations
- Juvenile Drug Charges
- Juvenile Marijuana Charges
- Juvenile DUI
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- Juvenile Theft
- Juvenile Sex Crimes
- Juvenile Assault
- College Offenses
- School crimes
- Juvenile Court
- Serious Crimes
While a juvenile may commit any crime an adult could commit, the following are the “typical” crimes committed by juveniles:
- Larceny—this charge can encompass taking something from another student, shoplifting at the mall, or even taking something out of an unlocked vehicle.
- Vandalism—this is also a common charge against juveniles. Painting on a wall, the cement of an overpass, in a bathroom stall, or on a train car may all seem like harmless fun, but graffiti is a crime.
- Underage drinking—consuming or illegally purchasing alcohol when a juvenile is under the age of 21 is a criminal offense, and one that is common among teens.
- Disorderly conduct—a juvenile could be charged with disorderly conduct for being involved in a fight at school or elsewhere.
- Assault—even something as simple as shoving another person can end up with a juvenile being charged with assault.
- Possession of marijuana—the amount of marijuana a juvenile has in his or her possession can determine how serious the charges and penalties will be.
- Violations of curfew – these are most common in cities which have such curfew laws.
- Trouble at school—this can include skipping school, being disrespectful to teachers or other authority figures, bullying other students and many other offenses.
- Traffic violations—Teens are notoriously distracted drivers, therefore may not realize they are exceeding the speed limit, crossing the centerline, or failing to obey other traffic laws.
- Drug possession—whether a juvenile is in possession of a prescription drug which was not prescribed for him or her or an illegal drug, such as methamphetamine, cocaine or other illegal drugs, the consequences can be extremely serious.
Juveniles can also be charged with more violent crimes such as murder or manslaughter or sex crimes, but these are criminal acts not as commonly seen among juveniles.
Our Lancaster County juvenile defense attorneys have represented individuals accused of crimes throughout Lancaster County, including: Lancaster, Ephrata, Elizabethtown, Columbia, Lititz, Millersville, Willow Street, Mount Joy, Leola, New Holland, Manheim, East Petersburg, Akron, Denver, Maytown, Reamstown, Brownstown, Strasburg, Mountville, Salunga, Marletta, Quarryville, Swartzville, and Bowmansville.
Key Issues in Juvenile Defense
How will Juvenile Charges Impact My College Application?
Do a need a Juvenile Attorney?
What is the Juvenile Court Process?
Will Your Child Be Prosecuted like an Adult?
What Does a Juvenile Probation Officer Do?
What’s the Difference Between a Juvenile and an Adult Prosecution?
The Lancaster County Juvenile Justice Process Overview
When your child is arrested, they will be released home to you or placed into a detention center. If your child is placed into a detention center, a detention hearing must occur within 72 hours. During this hearing, the judge will decide if your child is to remain in detention prior to their adjudication hearing or if they can be released home.
The juvenile justice process is different from the adult criminal process. Unlike an adult trial, there is no jury in a juvenile hearing. Instead, during their adjudication hearing there is simply a district attorney representing the Commonwealth, your child’ juvenile defense attorney and a judge. The judge will make the ultimate determination whether your child has committed the juvenile act.
If the judge determines that your child has committed an offense, they will hold a disposition hearing to impose their sentencing. Most likely, your child will face probation, but in some cases juveniles are sent back to juvenile detention centers or even placed in child welfare facilities, if there is reason to believe that their home life contributed to their delinquency. Juveniles may also be required to pay fines or restitution, and perform community service.
How a Lancaster County Juvenile Defense Attorney Can Help
If your child has been arrested and charged with an offense in Lancaster County, an experienced Lancaster juvenile defense lawyer can help protect your child throughout the legal process. Undoubtedly, your child’s future is in jeopardy even if the offense in question is minor. Spending time in a juvenile delinquency center or on probation can adversely affect their entire lives. As such, you need a law firm on your side who can fight for your child’s rights every step of the way. Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices at (717) 291-9400.
Our office is located at 313 West Liberty Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania to better serve you. We have successfully defended juveniles throughout Pennsylvania who have been arrested and accused of a variety of crimes. We have tried cases in the Lancaster County courts, as well as in Chester County courts, Delaware County courts, Montgomery County courts, Philadelphia County courts, Berks County courts, and Bucks County courts.
Protect Your Child’s Future, Call Our Defense Attorney Today
Don’t put your child’s future in an unknowledgeable attorney’s hands. The defense lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices has your child’s best interests in mind at all times. The crimes your child is facing can deter employers, prevent school acceptance, cause time in jail, probation, and more. As soon as your child has been charged with a crime, call our offices at (717) 291-9400, toll-free at (877) 529-2422, or contact us online. We represent juvenile clients in Chester County, Berks County, Bucks County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia.