Learn about what juvenile murder is in Pennsylvania and what to do if you or a loved one is facing accusations or criminal homicide charges. Facing juvenile murder is a pivotable moment in a person’s life. Is it the time to reach out to an inexperienced criminal attorney or a former prosecutor who touts his convictions but lacks experience gaining murder acquittals? Before it’s too late, call our team. Facing third degree murder charges anywhere in Pennsylvania and need help, call the Ciccarelli Legal Team at (610) 692-8700.
Getting the Best Defense where you are facing Juvenile Murder Charges
Reach out to the Ciccarelli Legal Team, when you are facing a juvenile murder in the greater Philadelphia metro area, including Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County and throughout Pennsylvania. Then ask yourself, why you are not calling now and scheduling a time to meet with Lee Ciccarelli. Call now at (610) 692-8700.
Our team of lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices is ready to fight for you. When the threat of prosecution for homicide and murder is real, you need to look for the best options and find a top murder defense team serving Chester County and beyond. Based in West Chester (Chester County) in the Philadelphia Metro Area, the Ciccarelli Legal Team defends the rights of murder and homicide defendants throughout Pennsylvania.
Information on a Chester County Juvenile Murder Charge
It can be particularly difficult for the family of a juvenile to confront charges against the young person of murder. The parent of such a young child can be subjected to serious levels of stress as they worry about the safety and the future of their child. Hiring a highly experienced juvenile defense attorney who will advocate aggressively for your child, working at every turn to protect your child’s rights and future is essential. Many juveniles—and even their parents—may not fully understand the rights afforded them by our Constitution.
Far too many juveniles talk to the police willingly and freely, inadvertently saying things which can derail their case down the line. The reason juveniles talk without reservation after being arrested is not only due to the fact that they don’t know any better. It is also because they are young, and may have been taught to do what older people tell them to do, or are intimidated by the police officers. The juvenile justice system is complex, and often overwhelming, which is a great reason to have a juvenile homicide attorney in your corner.
The Process of a Juvenile Homicide Case in the State of Pennsylvania
In the state of Pennsylvania, a juvenile who has been arrested is likely to be referred to the juvenile probation office to undergo an evaluation—both of the minor and of the circumstances and facts surrounding the case. At this point, the prosecutor and the probation officer will determine whether the juvenile will face a judge, although in the case of a homicide, the juvenile will most certainly go before a judge. In the case of homicide charges, the case will then be turned over to the Pennsylvania court systems.
Juveniles who are facing serious charges—like murder, or those who have had past contacts with the juvenile justice system will be detained in a juvenile facility. There is no bail in the juvenile system, although a skilled defense attorney can arrange for the release of the juvenile. Once formal charges are filed against the juvenile, the judge will make the determination as to whether the juvenile will be charged as an adult or a juvenile for the homicide charges. The severity of the crime, the juvenile’s age and any mitigating circumstances will all come into play when determining whether the juvenile will be charged as an adult.
Of course, all parents hope their child’s case will stay in juvenile court, where the juvenile would then enter into an admission—similar to a plea agreement in a “regular” trial—or go to trial. If the judge determines the charges are true, the juvenile will either be declared delinquent or the adjudication will be deferred. In juvenile court a serious offender may receive a sentence of time in a juvenile corrections facility or possibly a residential treatment facility.
What if a Juvenile is Tried as an Adult?
If a child appears unwilling to admit to his or her crime (the murder), the facts of the case are particularly heinous, or the juvenile has had many other run-ins with the law for violent offenses, then he or she may be tried as an adult. In short, juvenile defendants who remain in the juvenile system following the commission of a murder do so under a preponderance of evidence that allowing the child to remain in the juvenile justice system serves the interests of the public.
Obviously, the criminal courts are simply not the place for most juvenile offenders, even those who commit murder, primarily because of the penalties in the adult criminal system. As an example, a second-degree conviction for murder in Pennsylvania adult criminal court can result in a mandatory life sentence, completely removing the possibility of rehabilitation and therapy for the young person. Although Pennsylvania law decrees such harsh sentences, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that sentencing a juvenile to life in prison is cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the juvenile’s constitutional rights. For the nearly 400 juveniles who have been sentenced to life in prison in the state of Pennsylvania, this may offer hope, as parole may now be a possibility.
As a parent, this may well be the toughest issue you will ever face with your child. You have to deal with the fact that your child committed a grave criminal act, but you also have to try to minimize the consequences to the extent possible to allow your child at least a glimmer of a future down the line. Only a very knowledgeable juvenile criminal defense attorney can help you during this difficult time. You need an attorney who is well-versed in juvenile crimes as well as well-versed in the crime of murder. The primary goal will be to keep your child’s case in juvenile court and prevent him or her from being tried as an adult.
Get The “Right Defense” When facing Pennsylvania Juvenile Murder Charges
When you or a loved one is facing juvenile murder allegations or charges, gain the benefit and experience of the Ciccarelli Legal Team. Our legal team brings years of experience defending clients, demanding justice and fighting for acquittals. Our team is ready to represent you when you are facing homicide and murder charges in Pennsylvania. We are based in based in suburban Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania. Contact us at (610) 692-8700.