Virginia Juvenile Lawyers
In Virginia, any individual who is under 18 years old is considered a juvenile. The age of accountability in Virginia is 18, so juveniles who commit crimes are not considered old enough to be held responsible for their actions. Juvenile criminal offenses are handled differently than adult criminal offenses, and usually are not considered as serious because of the offender’s age.
However, any crime, committed by either an adult or juvenile, is a serious offense in Virginia and should not be taken lightly. If you or your child is charged with a juvenile criminal offense in Virginia, it’s important that you understand the penalties for the offense as well as your legal rights so that you can build a strong defense against it. Committing a crime before the age of 18 does not have to mean you or your child’s entire life is over if you are prepared with a good lawyer.
Virginia Juvenile Criminal Offenses Penalties
The penalties for juvenile criminal offenses vary depending on the circumstances of the crime. Most laws governing juveniles are under VA Code. 16.1, but the crimes they commit may fall under a variety of other VA Codes. Because juveniles are not considered old enough to be held responsible for their actions, the penalties for juveniles are often much more lenient than for adults, but it depends on the crime.
If a crime is committed by a juvenile and he or she is tried as a juvenile, there is usually no jail time. However, some more serious criminal offenses will result in a permanent, public crime record. which can cause complications later in life when the juvenile tries to apply for jobs, sign a lease, get a credit card, and more. Misdemeanors usually don’t result in a public criminal record for the juvenile. On the other hand, juveniles over the age of 14 who are convicted of a felony will be marked as convicted felons for the rest of their lives. Even though juveniles may not serve time behind bars for their crimes, a juvenile crime can still have negative consequences.
Common Juvenile Criminal Offenses
There are many crimes that are commonly committed by juveniles, many of which fall under VA Code 18.2. Each individual crime has its own penalties depending on the circumstances of the crime. It is important to prepare for these or other juvenile crimes.
- 2-137 and 18.2-138 – Destruction of property
- 2-248 and 18.2-250 – Marijuana possession and distribution
- 2-95 – Shoplifting/grand larceny
- 1-305 – Underage drinking and underage possession of alcohol
Preparing a Juvenile Criminal Defense
If you or your child is charged with a juvenile criminal offense, it’s important to be well-prepared for court. The court is usually more lenient toward juvenile offenses, but you should still make sure you’re protected by a strong legal defense.
If you or your child has been charged with a juvenile criminal offense and need legal advice or defense, you owe it to yourself to hire the best legal defense available. Our lawyers will pour over every detail of your case and organize the strongest defense they can. We are dedicated to protecting your legal rights and working to give you the most desirable outcome in court.
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