Bucks County Juvenile Lawyer
Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Doylestown PA
When your child is facing criminal charges, it can seem like your whole world has come to a standstill. As their parent, your job is to protect them and safeguard their future. But what happens when they get in trouble with the law. Will one mistake define their entire life? Will they suffer severe penalties and consequences that could affect their entire future? While the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania is focused on rehabilitation, that doesn’t mean that your child won’t face consequences. Without an experienced lawyer on their side, they could even face conviction in an adult court of law.
Get the Help Your Child Needs Now
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Bucks County juvenile defense attorney have the experience and resources need to tackle even the most complex juvenile defense cases. You can contact our office by email or by phone at (610) 692-8700 or 877 529-2422. From the moment you step into our office, you and your child become our number one priority. We know that you and your child are scared and worried about their future. That’s why we work tirelessly to keep your child out of detention centers and out of the adult court system. We know the juvenile court system in Bucks County and have been representing juveniles accused of committing criminal acts for decades.
Juveniles under the age of 18 can be tried as adults for serious and violent crimes, such as murder (42 Pa. C. S. Sec. 6302) or use of a deadly weapons (42 Pa. C. S. Sec. 6355(g)). The judge will decide whether it is in the public’s best interest for your child’s juvenile case to be transferred to an adult court. Before doing so, the judge will examine all of the evidence against your child, the circumstances surrounding the criminal act, the effect the criminal act had on the victim, and the effect it had on the public.
Juvenile Crime in Bucks County & Pennsylvania
Bucks County is the fourth most populous county in Pennsylvania and the 99th most populous county in the United States. It is most commonly known as the Delaware Valley and is located just northwest of Philadelphia. Currently, over 625,000 residents call Bucks County their home, including a large sector of the biotechnology industry. In fact, it is projected that by 2020, nearly one in four people living in Bucks County will be working in biotechnology.
The Bucks County Youth Center, located on Easton Road in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is a temporary detention center for alleged and adjudicated delinquent juveniles between the ages of 10 and 18. Here, juveniles in Bucks County remain under the care and custody of the Youth Center until a disposition has been finalized in a Pennsylvania Juvenile Court of law.
The Bucks County Juvenile Probation Office is located on E. Court Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It is a judicial agency that is responsible for providing custodial services and treatment of juveniles in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system. This includes probation supervision and placement of children in residential homes or detention centers. To do this, they operate twenty-four hours a day and employ a staff of 37 Juvenile Probation Officers.
In 2016, 65,864 juveniles live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. According to the 2016 Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Dispositions, there were 2,074 alleged juvenile offenses and 1,048 substantiated juvenile offenses in 2016. Of the substantiated offenses, 247 were committed crimes against a person, 243 were property crimes and 332 were drug related offenses. 226 juvenile offenses in 2016 were designated as “other,” such as probation violations, firearm violations, and disorderly conduct. In 2016, there were 701 total dispositions for juvenile offenses in Bucks County alone. These dispositions represented 3% of the entire state’s juvenile dispositions.
Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyers in Doylestown, Bucks County
For decades, the Bucks County juvenile criminal defense lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices have been representing juveniles who have been accused of committing 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
Throughout Bucks County, we’ve assisted juveniles who have been detained for committing delinquent acts, including those living in: Levittown, Croydon, Bristol, Quakertown, Morrisville, Perkasie, Fairless Hills, Doylestown, Richboro, Telford, Sellersville, Churchville, Warminster Heights, Chalfont, Village Shires, Woodbourne, Brittany Farms – The Highlands, Newtown Grant, Trevose, New Britain, Feasterville, Plumsteadville, New Hope, Yardley, and Woodside.
The Bucks County Juvenile Justice Process Overview
In Bucks County, the juvenile justice system can be difficult to navigate without the help of an experienced juvenile defense attorney. There are numerous deadlines and hearings that can’t be missed, and your child could find themselves spending considerable time in a detention center throughout the process. As a parent, it is important to understand the juvenile justice process and what may be expected of you and your child.
- Arrest – when your child is arrested, they may not be immediately released home to you. In some cases, they may be placed in a detention center to await a detention hearing. During this time it is important to contact an experienced juvenile defense lawyer to begin representing your child.
- JPO Assessment – the Juvenile Probation Officer (JPO) assigned to your child’s case will begin the assessment to determine how to best proceed. This often includes interviewing your child, the victim, and your family members. This can be a scary process for families that are not prepared.
- Detention Hearing – If your child is placed in a detention center, they must have a detention hearing within 72 hours to determine if they should be sent home or placed back into detention.
- JPO Determination – after the JPO has completed their assessment, they will make a determination on how to best proceed with your child’s case. In general, they will make one of four determinations:
- Dismissal – if there isn’t enough evidence or if the infraction was minor, they will dismiss your child’s case and your child is free to go home.
- Informal Adjustment – your child’s case will be dismissed after 6 months, provided they follow specific JPO rules and remain out of trouble. During these 6 months, your child will be allowed to live at home.
- Consent Decree – your child’s case will proceed and a delinquency petition will be filed, however, it will be suspended on the condition that a probation plan can be reached and agreed upon.
- Adjudication Hearing – your child’s case will proceed through the juvenile courts and a petition will be filed to request an Adjudication Hearing.
- Adjudication Hearing – this hearing is similar to an adult trial with one major exception: there is no jury. During the adjudication hearing both the District Attorney and your child’s defense attorney will present their cases and the evidence they have to the judge. The judge will ultimately make their decision whether your child has committed the juvenile act or is innocent.
- Disposition Hearing – if the judge rules that your child did commit the juvenile act, then a disposition hearing will be scheduled to determine the sentencing. Most juveniles are sentenced to probation, however some are placed in a juvenile detention center or a residential home for a specified length of time.
Key Issues in Juvenile Defense
Juvenile Proceedings in Pennsylvania
Deferred Adjudication and the Consent Decree for Chester County Juveniles
Potential Consequences for a Juvenile Conviction in West Chester
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?
Expungement and Juvenile Convictions
Unfortunately, many people erroneously believe that juvenile crimes are not serious and won’t have long-lasting effects. This is untrue and your child’s criminal record won’t simply disappear because your child turns 18. Your child must have remained out of trouble with the law and be on a better path in life before the Pennsylvania courts will expunge your child’s juvenile record. In addition, if your child was adjudicated delinquent (found to have committed the juvenile act), then they must wait five years past their discharge from Court supervision before their record may be expunged. In some cases, expungement isn’t granted.
How a Bucks County Juvenile Defense Attorney Can Help
If your child is facing criminal charges or has been arrested and sent to a juvenile detention center, it is important to know that you are not alone. An experienced Bucks County juvenile defense lawyer can help your child through this difficult time and protect their future along the way. Your attorney will fight to keep your child in the juvenile justice system and in their own home during their probation. Without an attorney, your child could face escalated charges in an adult criminal court of law. Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices at (215) 228-0100 immediately to begin building a solid defense.
Our main office is located at 1515 Market Street, Suite 1200 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to better serve you. We have successfully defended juveniles throughout Pennsylvania who have been arrested and accused of a variety of crimes. Our juvenile criminal defense lawyers are ready and willing to fight for you. We represent juvenile clients in Chester County, Berks County, Bucks County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia.