In the state of Maryland, people who are under the age of 18 are considered juveniles. Minors who break the law are handled differently than adults who break the law. One of the primary differences between committing a crime as a juvenile and committing a crime as an adult is that criminal matters involving juveniles will be adjudicated in juvenile court, not adult criminal court. Consequently, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services will supervise the juvenile. If you are a minor, or parent of a minor child, facing criminal charges in Maryland and need to know what your rights and responsibilities as a juvenile are, please read on and contact an experienced juvenile crimes defense attorney.
It is important for a juvenile to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer represent them, just as adults do. In some instances, these cases will be handled in an informal manner and never make it to court. Should a juvenile be charged in court, it is crucial he or she retain an attorney. Generally, the juvenile’s parents retain an attorney on their child’s behalf, but if they fail to do so, the child may be assigned one by the Office of the Public Defender. Following an arrest, the court will hold an adjudication hearing, a fact-finding hearing that is like a trial. This hearing most often occurs between 30 and 60 days after the juvenile has been arrested. At this point, the child’s attorney will be able to defend his or her case. Other than a right to a jury trial, juveniles have all the same constitutional rights as adults.
If the juvenile is found to be involved (guilty) following an adjudication hearing, a disposition will take place. At the disposition, the court will decide whether the child needs treatment, guidance, or detention. The juvenile’s parents may have to pay restitution. The juvenile may be placed on probation or even be taken into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Services.
It is important that you obtain a knowledgeable and skilled defense attorney who can work hard to protect your child’s future if he or she has been charged or arrested in the state of Maryland. A seasoned legal professional will provide guidance and help you acquire the evidence needed to assist your child’s defense. No matter how complex, we know how much is at stake and are ready to take on your child’s case.
The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz has decades of experience representing clients in Anne Arundel County and Howard County, Maryland who need legal assistance for criminal defense or personal injury matters. Contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to discuss your case.