Representing Maryland Juveniles in Criminal & Traffic Cases
The criminal justice system becomes a harsh reality for many individuals. The intent behind the adult criminal justice system is to punish individuals for violating laws and to serve as a deterrent for others to commit similar crimes. However, the juvenile justice system is structured differently. An important social goal embraced within the juvenile justice system is the hope that children will rehabilitate. By having a public record that may follow them around for the rest of their lives, juveniles can find it difficult to move past a wrong committed during their youth.
In some juvenile cases, a child may be wrongly accused or may have confessed to a crime that he or she did not commit because he or she was intimidated by police involvement. In other cases, the juvenile has committed a crime but wants to avoid long-lasting consequences. Andalman & Flynn juvenile attorneys are experienced in representing children offenders in all of these circumstances. Our goal is to diligently represent the interests of area children, protecting children’s freedom and education and preventing a youthful indiscretion from affecting the child’s life when an adult.
About Juvenile Offenses
Juvenile offenses refer to the laws that apply to individuals under the age of 18 who are considered not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts as an adult. Juvenile justice focuses on rehabilitating the youth rather than on punishing him or her. Baltimore City and all of the Maryland counties have juvenile courts that are part of the circuit court in each county. These courts provide child offenders and their parents with treatment options and resources to help them deter future delinquent behavior. They focus on trying to prevent the child from becoming an adult offender. Juvenile courts retain jurisdiction over the case even if the child turns 18 before a formal adjudication and continue until the child reaches the age of 21. Juveniles can be transferred into adult court if they waive their rights under the juvenile system. However, this option is typically avoided due to the heightened penalties that adult offenders often receive.
If there are instances of neglect or abuse that is contributing to delinquent behavior, the courts intervene. Juvenile courts may deal with special cases involving children in need. For example, Child in Need of Assistance cases may involve juveniles who have been physically, emotionally or sexually abused by a caregiver. Child in Need of Supervision cases may involve a juvenile who has committed an act or series of acts that constitute delinquent behavior, such as violation of curfew laws, truancy, running away or habitual disobedience. They may also deal with cases involving emergency medical treatment, social service adoptions or the termination of parental rights.
Types of Juvenile Offenses in Maryland
Juvenile offenses can encompass a wide number of crimes. Some of the most common juvenile offenses include:
- Underage drinking
- Drug possession
- Theft crimes
- Criminal trespass
- Disturbing the peace
- Assault and battery
- School-related referrals to the Department of Juvenile Services
- School disciplinary suspension
- Violations of compulsory school attendance
- Child in Need of Assistance or Child in Need of Supervision cases
At Andalman & Flynn, our experience in juvenile matters enables us to anticipate the legal challenges and the various parties that may be involved in your child’s case. We explore all solutions that may be possible in your child’s case.
Protecting Your Child’s Future
Our experienced juvenile lawyers work with all interested parties in order to negotiate a favorable disposition of the case and to minimize the future educational and employment impact. Contact us for more information and assistance.