The moment that you receive that notice letter from the Chester County Juvenile Probation Department, located at the Chester County Justice Center at 201 W. Market St. in West Chester Pennsylvania, questions start racing through your mind.
First, why would you be getting a letter from the Chester County juvenile probation office? If you have a child under the age of 18 that is being accused of a criminal misdemeanor or felony offense, the police would refer the matter to the Chester County juvenile probation department for review and possible prosecution.It is not unusual or unreasonable for parents to flux between anger and fear regarding these charges. How could my son or daughter do this? This is not right or fair? My son or daughter has to accept responsibility for their actions. Along the same lines, parents have to make the decision on whether to hire an attorney for their child.
Some parents view hiring attorney is babying them or enabling that. Or is it just being a good parent and fighting for your child whether or not they did something wrong. Most parents don’t realize that when their juvenile child is arrested for a misdemeanor or felony they may be fingerprinted or photograph just like an adult criminal defendant. Though The Chester County juvenile court does not provide legal advice, even their website makes a point to state that a juvenile is entitled to representation by legal counsel at all stages of any proceedings.
Understand, your child has the right to legal counsel. That means that you have the right to speak to an experienced juvenile lawyer as soon as you receive notice of pending charges. Your child has the right to be represented by an experienced juvenile lawyer even at the initial Chester County juvenile probation intake interview. At the intake interview, the Chester County Junot probation officer would meet with the juvenile and the family to obtain a statement regarding the allegations against them and also gather family history and background.
It is definitely recommended that you have an attorney to appear with you at this initial or intake interview. Statements made by your juvenile child can be used against them in further court proceedings. The initial interview process also involves the probation officer asking for statements regarding the charges, asking for information regarding past juvenile record, any type of inappropriate behavior at home or school as well as behavioral history and drug or alcohol abuse or dependency. These are all subjects that should be reviewed with an experienced attorney before contact with the juvenile probation department.
Typically your child will actually be placed on probation pending the outcome of the case during this interview. These pre-adjudication conditions are used by the probation officer to monitor your child during the dependency the case and negative behavior in the view of the juvenile probation officer or the juvenile court will definitely have consequences for your child. Negative consequences include but are not limited to being placed on a Electronic Home Monitoring or DHM or house arrest or having to attend the evening reporting center or ERC or being detained at the Chester County juvenile center.
Again, consultation with experience juvenile lawyer may in fact be a wise decision for you and your family upon notice of pending charges. What’s the right answer in guiding your child through juvenile charges and or avoiding juvenile delinquency? Before you rush to judgment on your child’s conduct or walk into a juvenile intake interview that you might later regret, speak with an experienced member of our office for an initial consult to discuss your child’s options and rights.