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JUVENILE OFFENSES

If your child has been charged with a crime in Chester County, it is important to hire an attorney to represent your child’s best interest. Consequences for juvenile offenses can be harsh and long lasting, and can include a criminal record, placement in a detention center, or even affect future employment or education opportunities. Examples of some juvenile offenses are:

Your child’s defense attorney will attempt to receive the most beneficial outcome for your child’s charge, as there are other options, like juvenile diversion programs, that will prevent the harshest consequences for your child.

West Chester Juvenile Defense Attorney

The Skinner Law Firm can help your child avoid harsh punishments and severe repercussions for their juvenile offense in Chester County. Michael J. Skinner is experienced and knowledgeable with juvenile offenses in Pennsylvania and will make every effort to avoid harsh punishments and extreme sentencing for your child. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 for a consultation.


Pennsylvania Juvenile Offender Information Center


Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings in West Chester

A delinquent child in Pennsylvania is anyone who is ten years or older whom the court has adjudicated guilty of a delinquent act, and is in need of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation.

Typical juvenile proceedings in Pennsylvania begin when a law enforcement officer or district attorney files a petition with the court. An adjudicatory hearing will then be held in front of a judge to determine whether there is evidence that the juvenile committed the offense. If the judge finds a juvenile guilty, they will sentence the juvenile to treatment, supervision, confinement or rehabilitation.

A juvenile can appeal the court’s decision after the final disposition and must be filed with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania within 30 days of the final disposition hearing.


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Options to Avoid a Juvenile Conviction or Record in Pennsylvania

Instead of having a criminal trial, the district attorney can offer deferred adjudication, where the juvenile will have to agree to certain requirements to be completed within a specified period of time. If the juvenile complies with the requirements, there will be no trial, the criminal charge against the juvenile will be withdrawn, and there will be no criminal record.

If criminal charges have been filed against the juvenile, and the juvenile is adjudged delinquent, a consent decree can be entered into by the parties. In the consent decree, the child will be kept under supervision in his home and meet requirements as set forth by the probation officer. If all the requirements are met, and a specified time period has passed, the guilty conviction will be expunged from the juvenile’s record.


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Punishments and Consequences of Juvenile Offenders

If your child is convicted of a criminal offense or violates a juvenile diversion program’s requirements, they could potentially face severe repercussions on their future educational and career opportunities. Additionally, they may immediately be subjected to:

  • Community service,
  • Confinement in a Juvenile Detention Center,
  • Confinement to house arrest,
  • Counseling,
  • Curfew,
  • Fines,
  • Lost driving privileges or driver’s license,
  • Prison sentences if charged as an adult,
  • Probation,
  • Random drug testing, and/or
  • Substance abuse programs.

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Resources in Pennsylvania for Juvenile Offenders

Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission – The JCJC was established in Pennsylvania to advise juvenile courts about the proper care and maintenance for delinquent children, to establish standards governing the juvenile courts, and compile and statistics about delinquent juveniles in Pennsylvania.

Juvenile Law Center – The Pennsylvania branch of this national nonprofit seeks to advance and protect the rights and well-being of children who have committed juvenile offenses in Pennsylvania.


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Skinner Law Firm – A Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Chester County, PA

Contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a consultation about your juvenile’s crime in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It is important to hire an attorney to help your child find possible defenses or mitigating factors to help your child avoid a permanent criminal record. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 for a consultation about your child’s juvenile offense in Chester County and surrounding counties, including Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Lancaster County.

Michael Skinner
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