New York prosecutes children differently than adults. If your child has been accused of a crime in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx or Staten Island, you must understand the complexities of the juvenile justice system. You need a juvenile crime lawyer in New York City to explain these complexities to you.
I’m a juvenile crime lawyer in New York City with more than 20 years of experience handling these complicated cases. I understand the raw emotions families face when fearing the worst after their child is accused of serious criminal charges, such as:
Fear of the unknown creates so much anxiety. Contact my New York defense firm to learn how I can help address your fears about the legal system.
Juveniles are prosecuted in two courts: Criminal Court and Family Court.
The proceedings in Criminal Court and Family Court differ in many ways. For example, Family Court proceedings do not involve plea bargaining to the same extent as criminal courts. For this reason, Family Court proceedings are more likely to go to trial than Criminal Court proceedings.
Family Court trials are decided by individual judges. Criminal Court trials are usually decided by juries. At the initial Family Court appearance, the child will be either released or detained. Unlike Criminal Court, Family Court does not release children on bail. When juveniles are detained in Family Court, trials typically occur more quickly than they do in Criminal Court.
If your child is prosecuted and the matter is resolved in Family Court, the proceedings can’t result in a criminal conviction. However, even if the charges do not result in a criminal conviction, your child can experience severe consequences. Under the law, a child is considered a juvenile delinquent in Family Court if:
Family Court can impose a range of dispositions, similar to the sentencing options available in criminal courts. Family Court dispositions can include conditional discharge, probation, placement and restrictive placement.
If your child’s case is resolved in Criminal Court, the proceedings may or may not result in a criminal conviction. A juvenile convicted of a felony offense in Criminal Court where a youthful offender adjudication has not been entered will have a lifetime criminal record. A child is prosecuted in criminal court if the youth:
Every youth convicted of a crime has the possibility of being adjudicated a youthful offender, unless:
Though youthful offender adjudications are not criminal convictions, criminal courts can sentence youthful offenders to as much as four years in prison.
If your child has been accused of a criminal offense, obtain experienced legal counsel. This is a highly complicated area of the law. Juvenile offenses are prosecuted in Family Court or Criminal Court. As a New York City Juvenile Crime Lawyer, I navigate both court systems, focused on protecting your child’s future.