Birmingham Juvenile Crime Attorney
How the Law Defines Juvenile Crime
A juvenile crime is any criminal offense committed by an individual who is considered a juvenile under Alabama law. In Alabama, a juvenile is considered a person below the age of 18 or 19. A juvenile crime can result in criminal charges that follow a young person throughout his or her adult life. Adolescents facing juvenile criminal charges should turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist with their situation. At Ingram Law, LLC, our seasoned juvenile crimes lawyer in Birmingham represents young people in Jefferson County and surrounding areas of Alabama.
Common Types of Juvenile Crimes
Some of the crimes typically committed by juveniles include:
- Alcohol offenses
- Driving Under The Influence
- Traffic violations
- Property damage
- Drug possession
- Sex Offenses
- Possession of a weapon
- School disciplinary offenses
There are some major differences between the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. For example, mandatory life sentences and capital punishment are forbidden for juvenile crimes. When a juvenile’s criminal activity results in monetary losses, their parents may be held financially responsible. The punishment can vary widely, depending on the specific charges and circumstances. A young person may be sentenced to a juvenile detention facility, house arrest, electronic monitoring, probation, fines, or community service.
What is Alabama’s Juvenile Court Process?
If a minor has been detained by the police, a juvenile intake officer will determine whether to file a formal petition with the juvenile court and notify the minor’s parents. In addition, the intake officer will inform the minor and his/her parents of their rights and figure out if the minor should be released back to their parents’ custody or placed in a detention center.
If a minor is considered a dependent child or requires supervision, another option is placing him/her in the care of the Department of Human Resources. This is known as “shelter care.”
In the event a child is detained, a hearing is scheduled within 72 hours. At the hearing, the judge will decide if the child should be released to his parents or remain in detention or shelter care.
There are two alternative options for filing a formal petition:
- Informal Adjustment: The minor and his/her parents' consent to counseling by the intake officer or another counselor, as well as potentially temporary placement of up to six months with someone other than the parent or guardian.
- Consent Decree: When it comes to minors in need of supervision, a child could be supervised under special conditions and placed on probation of up to six months.
All juvenile trials in Alabama are decided by a judge – not a jury. Furthermore, all juvenile cases are sealed from public record.
Keeping the Case Out of the Adult Justice System
In some cases, a juvenile may be tried as an adult. This is most likely to happen when young people are accused of violent crimes. When prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, the juvenile is at risk of much more severe penalties. Our juvenile crimes lawyer in Birmingham works hard to keep juvenile cases out of the adult court system.
If a young person in your family is facing criminal charges, contact us for an immediate response.
Attorney Ingram is a Former District Attorney and has a successful track record.
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