Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 42 § 6354(a) states that an order of adjudication in a proceeding “is not a conviction of crime and does not impose any civil disability ordinarily resulting from a conviction or operate to disqualify the child in any civil service application or appointment.” This wording can lead many to believe that an adjudication of delinquency for a juvenile offender in Pennsylvania does not have long-term consequences.
However, there are actually several possible consequences—immediate and long-term—of juvenile adjudications of delinquency. If your child is facing any type of criminal charges, it is important to take them seriously and make sure that you have legal counsel who is committed to achieving the most favorable outcome to your case.
Michael J. Skinner is a Pennsylvania juvenile defense attorney who has experience on both sides of the courtroom with these types of charges. He understands how prosecutors handle them and what weaknesses to look for. The Skinner Law Firm defends alleged juvenile offenders in West Chester and surrounding areas in Chester County and Delaware County, PA. Contact us today at (610) 436-1410 today to have our firm review your case during a free, confidential consultation.
A delinquency adjudication is not considered a conviction, but it can still be treated as such by a potential employer. Keep in mind that under federal law, Title 42 U.S. Code § 5119a states have a “responsibility for the safety and well-being of children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities” with regards to background checks.
This means that certain delinquency adjudications can prohibit juvenile offenders from being hired for certain professions. Additionally, a delinquency adjudication can also prevent a juvenile offender from being able to seek professional licensing.
In 2002, the United States Supreme Court decided in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development v. Pearlie Rucker that public housing authorities have the right to evict tenants when they, their household members, or their guests are involved in illegal drug activity. In this case, the Oakland Housing Authority sought to evict Mrs. Rucker after her mentally disabled daughter was found in possession of cocaine three blocks from the apartment.
The case demonstrates that a public housing authority can evict the families of delinquent children, even when their criminal conduct did not occur on the authority’s property.
The United States Army includes proceedings relating to adjudication as a youthful offender or juvenile delinquent among its listings of disqualifications in its Active and Reserve Components Enlistment Program. The United States Air Force, the United States Navy, and the United States Marine Corps handle delinquency adjudications on a case-by-case basis.
A delinquency adjudication does not necessarily prohibit access to places of higher education such as colleges and universities because most applications ask prospective students whether they have been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, or other crime. However, certain delinquency adjudications may result in expulsion from local high schools.
Information about a child’s case will be sent to his or her school if the child is adjudicated delinquent for any offense, and some students may be assigned to disciplinary schools.
Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 18 § 6105, a person who was adjudicated delinquent by a Pennsylvania court or under any equivalent federal statute or statute of any other state as a result of conduct which if committed by an adult would constitute an offense under Pennsylvania law cannot possess, use, control, sell, transfer or manufacture or obtain a license to possess, use, control, sell, transfer or manufacture a firearm in the state.
Delinquency adjudications stemming from certain driving violations, drug crimes, or alcohol offenses can all result in the suspension of a person’s driving privileges for up to three years. Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 75 § 1503(a)(3), an offender who is found to be “a user of alcohol or any controlled substance to a degree rendering the user incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle” can be ruled ineligible for licensing.
Because a delinquency adjudication is not a criminal conviction, it should not have immigration consequences. However, the nature of the offense in some cases can make certain offenders ineligible for legal immigrant status or possibly even lead to deportation.
Undocumented children who receive delinquency adjudications for certain drug crimes, sex offenses, or crimes of moral turpitude can be subject to removal proceedings. In these cases, it is important to consult an attorney who specializes in immigration law.
Certain delinquency adjudications can lead to dramatic sentencing enhancements under both Pennsylvania state law and federal law if a person is convicted of a criminal offense as an adult. Some adjudications will lapse when the offender turns 28 years of age and he or she has been crime-free or convicted of no offense more than a third-degree misdemeanor before the age of 28.
However, certain adjudications for felony offenses never lapse. And in discussing prior juvenile adjudications for determining prior record scores for sentencing guidelines, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 42 § 303.6(c)(2) specifically states, “Nothing in this section shall prevent the court from considering lapsed prior adjudications at the time of sentencing.”
The Skinner Law Firm represents alleged juvenile offenders all over West Chester. Michael J. Skinner is committed to obtaining the most favorable outcome to these cases for all of his clients. Our firm serves multiple communities in Delaware County and Chester County. You can have your case reviewed when you call (610) 436-1410 to schedule a free legal consultation.