Delaware County PA Juvenile Defense Attorney
Juvenile Defense Lawyers in Media, Pennsylvania
When your child has been arrested and charged with a crime in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, your entire world can be suddenly thrown into turmoil. Parents are rightfully upset and concerned about how these criminal charges will affect their child’s life and future. While juveniles should be held accountable for their actions, one mistake shouldn’t define their lives. Future opportunities, such as attending university or gaining employment, shouldn’t be lost because of a single transgression.
Why Choose Our Juvenile Defense Firm?
- We have the specialized experience, training, and knowledge to effectively defend your child. Our lawyers have over 30 years of combined criminal defense experience.
- We work together to bring a strong defense to each case. Our lawyers use a team approach to evaluating each case and creating the strongest possible defense strategies.
- We have successful resolved dozens of juvenile criminal cases. In our years of experience, we have helped dozens of teens get second chances.
- We offer our services at reasonable prices for families. We know you may be going through a difficult time. We strive to keep our fees reasonable and affordable for all.
Unfortunately, depending on the criminal act they are accused of and the circumstances surrounding their arrest, your child could be facing a long stay in a juvenile detention center, jail time, large fines, probation, and other long-term criminal punishments. Do not make the mistake of waiting or being paralyzed by fear or apprehension. Act quickly to get an experienced, compassionate team of lawyers on your child’s behalf – like the experienced Delaware County Juvenile Attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices. Contact us now (610) 692-8700 or (877) 529-2422.
In the state of Pennsylvania, a juvenile under the age of 18 can still be tried as an adult in a court of law. This means that if they are convicted, they could face the same harsh penalties as an adult twice their age would face. They could even spend a lifetime behind bars. Due to the severity of these penalties and consequences, it is important to speak to an experienced Delaware County juvenile defense lawyer immediately.
Why You Need a Juvenile Defense Attorney
If the Delaware County courts convict your child of any type of crime, he or she could suffer serious long-term consequences. Depending on the nature of the crime, your child could be looking at a permanent criminal record and even weeks or months behind bars. You want what is best for your child, even after a mistake or lapse in judgment. Hiring an attorney gives your child the best odds of successfully resolving a criminal case with as minimal consequences as possible. A lawyer will have the skill to negotiate a juvenile criminal case from start to finish.
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Delaware County juvenile defense attorney can help you and your family during this difficult and trying time. You can contact our office by email or by phone at (610) 692-8700 or (877) 529-2422. When you contact our Delaware County, Pennsylvania juvenile defense attorneys today, you can rest assured knowing your child has the legal protection they need to protect their future. Is your child facing juvenile charges in Media, Newtown Square, Glen Mills, Broomall. Radnor or Wayne? We fight aggressively for all our juvenile clients.
Get the Delaware County Juvenile Lawyer Your Child Needs and Do it Today
Delaware County is the fifth most populous county in the state of Pennsylvania. It is adjacent to the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area and Chester County, Pennsylvania. Currently, more than a half million residents call Delaware County their home.
The 66 bed Juvenile Detention Center in Delaware County is located in Lima. The detention center here provides secure custody, guaranteeing the Delaware County courts that juveniles will be available for their court appearances, especially when there is a lack of parental supervision or when they have failed to attend hearings in the past. It also ensures that juveniles are available for any psychological, psychiatric, and educational diagnostic testing they may need. In 2018, 504 juveniles were admitted to the facility. In addition, the detention center here also works together with numerous Pennsylvania School Districts to service 1200 students a year.
The George W. Hill Correctional Facility is located in Thornbury Township in Delaware County. This facility houses pre-trial inmates and convicted persons serving county sentences of two years less one day. If your child is tried as an adult, they may be sentenced to this facility.
According to the 2016 Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Dispositions, 736 juveniles committed offenses in 2016 in Delaware County. 194 of those offenses were property crimes, such as theft, vandalism, and larceny. 88 of those crimes were drug crimes, such as possession of marijuana or drug sales, and 140 of those crimes were classified as “other” – these crimes included disorderly conduct, weapon on school property, and firearms offenses. Delaware county saw 606 admissions to secure detention facilities in 2016, with each juvenile staying an average of 10 days in custody.
While some juveniles are arrested for violent crimes, such as murder, rape, arson, or assault and battery, the majority of juvenile crimes in Delaware County are property crimes. In fact, about 40% of juvenile detentions are for technical violations, such as probation violations, low-level property offenses, truancy, and alcohol possession. As such, the majority of children placed in juvenile detention centers pose little to no threat to the general public.
Juveniles & Adult Crimes in Delaware County
The goal of juvenile court in Delaware County is to rehabilitate the youth and provide them with the tools they need to improve their future and stay out of trouble. Rehabilitation is the key and the consequences surrounding juvenile crimes are geared towards helping children and teens, not punishing them. In contrast, the adult justice system is more heavily focused on punishment. 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)).
In order to be transferred to an adult court, the prosecution must file a petition in Juvenile Court alleging delinquency. The child must be at least 14 years old and a hearing must take place prior to the juvenile being transferred to an adult court. During the hearing, the judge must decide that the crime would have been a felony offense if committed by an adult and that public interests would be served by having this juvenile case transferred to an adult court. In addition, the child must not be suffering from a mental illness.
Judges do not take juvenile cases lightly and transferring a juvenile case to an adult case is a serious decision that could affect that child’s entire life. Before doing so, the judge will examine the crime, the violent nature of the crime on the victim and the community, and the juvenile’s overall responsibility in committing the crime. The judge will also determine if they believe the child could be better rehabilitated in the juvenile court system or whether punishment in the adult system is better for the child and for the general public.
If your child’s case is going to be tried in an adult court, your Delaware County juvenile defense attorney will need to work quickly and diligently to have the case moved back to a juvenile court.
Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyers in Delaware County
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our skilled Delaware 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
Our Delaware County juvenile defense attorneys have represented individuals accused of crimes throughout Delaware County, including: Upper Darby, Haverford, Chester, Radnor, Drexel Hill, Springfield, Ardmore, Yeadon, Broomall, Darby, Lansdowne, Woodlyn, Collingdale, Folsom, Brookhaven, Village Green-Green Ridge, Genolden, Ridley Park, Clifton Heights, Folcroft, Prospect Park, Swarthmore, Norwood, Sharon Hill and Media.
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?
The Delaware County Juvenile Justice Process Overview
Once your child is arrested, they will either be released home to you or placed in a detention facility. It can be very frightening to have your child placed in detention. By law, there must be a detention hearing within 72 hours of the time the juvenile is detained. Parents or guardians, the juvenile and his or her attorney must all receive notice of the detention hearing. This notification will include the purpose of the hearing (the charges against the juvenile) and the place, time and date of the hearing. The notification could be via phone, in person or through the mail. If no notification of the hearing is received, an affidavit can be given to the juvenile’s probation officer which will trigger another hearing within 72 hours of receipt of the affidavit.
It is important for parents or guardians to attend the detention hearing and to make sure the judge is aware of any disabilities, special medical conditions, special education services or counseling services the child may have been receiving and should continue to receive if returned to detention. At the hearing, the judge will determine if the child is to remain in detention or released home. The judge will also set a date for the adjudication hearing. This hearing must be held within ten days of the filing of delinquency petition.
During the adjudication hearing, your child will be represented by their criminal defense attorney, the district attorney will represent the Commonwealth, and a judge will preside over the case. There is no jury. Unlike an adult trial, the adjudication hearing will not conclude with your child being found guilty or not guilty. Instead, the judge will simply find them to have committed the juvenile act. If they are found to have committed the juvenile act, the judge will set a date for the disposition hearing. During the disposition hearing, the judge will notify you and your child of their sentencing. Most commonly, juveniles are placed on probation, but they can also be confined to a juvenile detention center or sent to a child welfare facility. They may also be required to pay restitution to the victim, pay fees, and perform community service.
How Does the Juvenile System Work in Pennsylvania?
The juvenile court system is entirely separate from the adult system in most states, including Pennsylvania. Most juvenile systems aim to instruct and rehabilitate youth rather than to punish them alone. The system works to teach children or teens a better way to live than resorting to crime. The Pennsylvania courts do not believe a child should have to pay for his or her bad decisions for life. This typically leads to many options for rehabilitation as part of a criminal sentence.
- Community service
- Family support
- Continuing education
- Restitution to victims
- Juvenile detention
- Drug or alcohol testing
- Probation or house arrest
Sometimes, however, a juvenile can face serious consequences for crimes. A juvenile in Pennsylvania could end up in jail or even state prison, with a permanent criminal record, for certain crimes. Older teens that commit violent crimes or are repeat offenders, for example, may end up in juvenile detention facilities. This can interfere with the youth’s ability to graduate school or rejoin his or her community. Under state law, prison time will only happen if the teen is over 14 and commits a serious, violent felony crime. These crimes may include rape, murder, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
One of our Pennsylvania juvenile defense lawyers can make this difficult situation a little easier on your family after a criminal charge against a juvenile. We can give you more peace of mind by removing the unknown from your case. We will gather more details about the charges, find out what evidence the prosecution has against your child, and list your potential legal options. Then, our lawyers will work together to think up a strong legal strategy in your child’s defense.
Your child or teen does not have to live with the consequences of one mistake for life. With the right attorney, your family can put this ordeal behind you with minimal to no lasting effects. Do not wait until the day before your child’s first court appearance. Call Ciccarelli Law Offices today to jump start your child’s legal defense. Contact us online or call (610) 692-8700 for a free legal consultation.
We have Delaware County locations in Springfield at 1489 Old Baltimore Pike, Springfield PA and in Wayne at 150 North Radnor Chester Road, Suite F200, Radnor PA 19087. We have successfully defended juveniles throughout Pennsylvania who have been arrested and accused of a variety of crimes. We represent juvenile clients in Chester County, Berks County, Bucks County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia.