Was your child arrested and charged with a crime in Lexington, KY? The time to fight back is now. Fortunately, you don’t have to fight for your child’s future on your own. The experienced Lexington juvenile crimes lawyers from Oakley & Oakley, LLC, are here to help. Give our law office a call to discuss your child’s juvenile case immediately.
We’re ready to help you understand your rights and identify the best course of action for their defense.
How Oakley & Oakley, LLC, Can Help If Your Child is Facing Juvenile Criminal Charges
As a parent, there’s nothing more important to you than your child. At Oakley & Oakley, LLC, our Lexington criminal defense attorneys recognize that. And, we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to help you keep your child’s future safe.
If they’ve been picked up for a juvenile offense or serious crime, our team will work around the clock to help them beat the charges.
Juvenile cases are unique. You’ll need the aid of an attorney who knows the juvenile justice system and has experience handling cases like your child’s. Make Oakley & Oakley, LLC, your first call.
Our defense team will help them fight back against the state’s accusations by:
- Investigating the events leading to your child’s arrest
- Explaining the juvenile justice system to your child
- Identifying and gathering evidence that may prove your child’s innocence
- Providing your child with honest answers to their legal questions
- Offering your child sound legal advice throughout their case
- Working to secure your child’s release from police custody
- Protecting your child’s constitutional rights
- Consulting with relevant experts about your child’s criminal case
- Developing a customized defense strategy for your child’s case
- Representing your child’s best interests in court
Would you like to have our experienced criminal defense firm stand up for your child? Then please give us a call today to arrange a free consultation at our law offices in Lexington, Kentucky. We are well versed in all areas of state and federal law, and we are ready to fight for your son or daughter.
Types of Juvenile Offenses in the State of Kentucky
The state of Kentucky divides its juvenile crimes into two categories.
A juvenile commits a status offense when they engage in actions that may harm them or have an adverse impact on their life. When performed by an adult, status offenses are not crimes. The most commonly charged status offenses in the state of Kentucky are:
- Habitual runaway
- Tobacco offenses
- Alcohol offenses
- Beyond the control of parents
- Beyond the control of school
- Habitual truancy
Status offenses do not usually include violations of curfews or other local or state ordinances.
A juvenile commits a public offense when they take part in an activity that is a violation of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. Should an adult engage in the same behavior, the police may charge them with a crime. A brief list of the most common public offenses committed by children in Kentucky would include:
The state of Kentucky does not usually include traffic offenses committed by minors who are at least 16 years of age in this category.
No matter what type of juvenile crime the prosecutor is accusing your son or daughter of committing, you can always count on our Kentucky law firm to help them launch a vigorous defense.
Our legal team has many years of experience in the industry, and we are more than ready to battle tirelessly on your child’s behalf. Give us a call today to get started.
Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice System: An Overview
When the authorities arrest a minor child and charge them with one of the offenses specified above, they enter them into the juvenile justice system. They must then go through the following steps to determine whether they will spend time behind bars, pay restitution, or go home to their family:
Juvenile Detention Hearing
Kentucky law explains that children who get arrested by the police should receive a confidential juvenile detention hearing as soon as possible. Kids who get charged with status offenses must receive their hearing within 24 hours, while the state has 48 hours to process minors charged with public offenses. The purpose of these detention hearings is to decide whether a juvenile is to remain in the custody of the state or allowed to return home.
In making a ruling on matters of this nature, judges in Kentucky typically consider:
- The child’s overall disposition
- The child’s history of aggression
- The child’s history of criminal conduct
- The child’s family life and support system
- The severity of the child’s alleged crime
Courts typically allow first-time offenders and juveniles accused of minor crimes to return to their families. However, children with a long history of delinquent behavior usually remain in the custody of the state throughout their legal proceedings.
Once a juvenile gets through their detention hearing, a court designated worker then performs a preliminary inquiry to decide whether or not they are eligible to enter a diversion program. These programs usually involve:
- Community service
- Drug treatment
- Alcohol treatment
Minor children who successfully complete a diversion program can avoid going through the remainder of the juvenile justice system. As such, they will go to jail or receive a criminal record.
The next step in the juvenile justice system is the arraignment hearing. At this hearing, a judge reads a list of crimes with which the child is charged and offers them the opportunity to enter a plea. In most cases, this proceeding takes less than 30 minutes.
Transfer Hearing (Discretionary)
When the arraignment concludes, the state of Kentucky may opt to hold a transfer hearing to decide whether or not they ought to try the child as an adult. In the Bluegrass State, prosecutors can automatically try minors as adults if they commit a felony with a firearm. However, judges can also make this transfer if:
- The child has a history of engaging in gang activity
- The child is unlikely to rehabilitate in a juvenile facility
- The child’s crime caused severe injury or death to another person
- The child has a lengthy criminal history
- The child’s crime is especially severe
When courts decide to try minor children as adults, their cases move from the juvenile justice system to the circuit court system.
Juvenile Adjudication Hearing
When a child pleads not guilty at their arraignment, the state of Kentucky holds an adjudication hearing to decide whether or not to convict them of their alleged offense. This hearing does not involve the use of a jury. Instead, it is a private trial during which a judge considers evidence and arguments from both sides before rendering a verdict.
Juvenile Disposition Hearing
If a juvenile pleads guilty at their arraignment or is convicted of a crime at their adjudication hearing, they must next go to a disposition hearing. The purpose of this proceeding is to determine how the state will punish them for their actions. The most common penalties for juvenile crimes include:
- Payment of damages to injured parties
- Supervised probation
- Juvenile detention
When deciding on the type of sentence a minor should receive a juvenile court can consider factors like:
- The severity of their crime
- Their likelihood of rehabilitation
- Their criminal history, and
- The stability of their home life
Do you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help your child through the complex juvenile justice system in Kentucky? If so, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Oakley & Oakley, LLC. Our law firm has represented clients in cases like these for years, so we know what it takes to secure favorable outcomes.
Defenses Against Juvenile Criminal Charges in Kentucky
For a parent, there are few things more traumatizing than witnessing their son or daughter get arrested and charged with a crime. However, there is no guarantee that their charge will become a conviction.
Juveniles can often get their criminal cases dismissed by using one of the following defense strategies:
- Lack of Evidence: Defense lawyers can frequently get juvenile charges thrown out by arguing that the state does not have sufficient evidence to convict.
- Self-Defense: When kids are accused of committing an act of violence, they can often escape punishment by having their attorney prove they acted in self-defense.
- Mistaken Identity: Sometimes, the police arrest the wrong person. When lawyers prove that their minor client was wrongly taken into custody, they typically have little trouble getting their charges dismissed.
- Lack of Intent: Many crimes in the state of Kentucky require the offender to have acted with intent. When a lawyer can successfully argue that their juvenile client did not intend to break the law, they can often convince the judge to throw out the case against them.
Juvenile criminal law has long been one of our law firm’s primary practice areas. As such, we have years of experience devising customized defense strategies on behalf of our clients. If you would like to have our legal team do the same for your child, all you need to do is send us a message.
Your Experienced Lexington Juvenile Crimes Lawyer
Do you need a skilled Lexington juvenile crimes lawyer to help your son or daughter fight back against the assertions of the state of Kentucky? Then please do not hesitate to call Oakley & Oakley, LLC. Our law firm has been handling cases of this nature for years – and we know what it takes to win.