Is your child is facing criminal charges as a juvenile in Lexington, Kentucky? At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we know how terrifying this can be for you and your family.
Your child’s future is at stake. You need to begin an aggressive defense campaign – and you need to do that now.
Our Lexington juvenile crimes lawyers are here to help. Let us put our decades of combined experience to work to help your child today. We offer a free consultation, so give our law office in Fayette County a call now.
How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help Fight a Juvenile Crime Charge in Lexington, KY
Our Lexington criminal lawyers are ready to help your child fight back against juvenile criminal charges in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We understand that your child is scared about what comes next.
Suhre & Associates, LLC, will help your child understand what is happening so they feel better informed and more in control of their future. Juvenile cases affect everyone in the home, and this is an incredibly stressful and difficult time for all involved.
Our approach is to provide your child with legal help while ensuring your family has the necessary resources to deal with the issues. We take a holistic approach to juvenile offenses.
Our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers in Lexington are highly experienced in juvenile crime cases. We will review your child’s case, evidence, and circumstances, and work to secure the most optimal result. We want to help minors avoid the hazards of juvenile detention and strive to give them a safe alternative—one in which they can thrive.
We fight for minor defendants to receive more compassionate penalties such as in-home incarceration, community service, and group home placement as an alternative. We also keep in mind your family situation and will fight to ensure the detention location is accessible for you and that you can reach your child.
Call our Lexington, Kentucky criminal defense law firm to arrange a free consultation with our team today. Juvenile law is a key practice area for us, and we know it through and through.
Overview of Juvenile Crimes in Lexington, KY
Juvenile crime is essentially a crime committed by someone who has not yet reached the legal age of adulthood as defined by the state. State law determines who falls under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. According to Kentucky law:
- There is no minimum age for juvenile delinquency.
- Juvenile court has oversight of any offenses committed by a defendant who is not yet 18 years of age.
- After age 18, the offender is typically charged in adult court
One important exception is if the offender is 16 years old and charged with a motor vehicle crime. In such cases, it is possible for the defendant to be tried as an adult.
The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice seeks to help juvenile offenders develop into productive youth, and eventually adults, who make a positive contribution to society.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, our goal is to avoid having your child get lost in the system. We fight to ensure your child gets the rehabilitation and help needed. We do everything we can to work with the Department to seek minimal penalties.
Status Crimes vs. Public Crimes
Charges for juvenile offenses fall into two main categories: status crimes and public crimes. A status crime is one that is only considered a crime because it was committed by a juvenile. Such crimes would not be considered criminal if perpetrated by an adult. Examples of status crimes include:
- Habitual runaways
- Cigarettes and alcohol
- Out of control teenagers
Can Your Child Be Tried as an Adult?
Depending on the age of the accused minor, as well as the severity of the crime, charges against a juvenile offender could be transferred to adult court. This means the penalties will be much harsher, and the charges will follow them as part of their criminal history.
There are several factors that determine whether your child will be charged as an adult. The transfer to adult court is either automatic based on state law or part of an action taken at the discretion of the court.
A child can be charged as an adult and tried in Kentucky’s adult criminal justice system if:
- The child is of sufficient age, usually sixteen or seventeen
- The crime was against a person rather than property, the likelihood of being charged as an adult is greater
- It is in the best interest of the community
- The minor has a previous criminal record
- There’s evidence of minor gang participation
- A certain felony crime is committed – including rape, armed robbery, or other violent crime.
Unfortunately, there are a number of social factors that could increase the likelihood of your child’s case being transferred to adult court. According to the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, almost all minors in the state of Kentucky facing adult charges are black. Even in Appalachian counties, where the population is eighty-percent white, more black than white teens are charged as adults.
Patterns also suggest that, regardless of race, minors of a lower social and economic class, those in custody of the state, and those who have experienced poor childhood rearing, are also at much higher risk of being harshly charged.
These issues are rampant across the United States. We take this very seriously and understand your child’s well-being and future are at stake. Our job is to fight hard for your child, regardless of the circumstances of the case or the racial or economic status of your child. We’re ready to handle your child’s criminal law matter in adult or juvenile court – you just have to call and ask for our help.
Effects of Juvenile Detention Centers
We will be tireless in considering every legal option to keep your child out of a juvenile detention center. These centers present a variety of unpleasant long-term effects on minors. These can include:
- Their mental and emotional development skills halted
- Social skills are often underdeveloped, anxiety disorders and personality disorders common after release
- A child being incarcerated, and prematurely labeled as a criminal, often results in reoffending in their adult years
We are committed to fighting for your child and negotiating for penalty options outside of being placed in a juvenile detention center.
Penalties for Juvenile Crimes
Most juvenile crimes are misdemeanor charges such as petty theft, assault, and defacing property. Some penalties can include:
Order the child to pay restitution. If the reason for the crime is due to parental negligence, then the guardian can be forced to pay restitution to those who were affected by the minor’s actions.
In order to avoid time in juvenile detention, or to transition them back into their home after incarceration, a juvenile offender may be placed into the custody of a group home.
Day Treatment Programs
Educational day treatment programs are often a part of the transition.
Juvenile Development Center
Kentucky is home to some of the country’s top-rated juvenile development centers, where most children in the program range from 14 to 18 years old. These programs specialize in helping youth successfully complete their GED and take classes for college credit. Other programs to help youth advance include anger management, parenting, substance abuse, and independent living classes.
A child can be placed on supervised or unsupervised probation. This can include reporting to, being visited by, and/or supervised by a probation officer.
Juvenile Detention Center
Custody of a minor offender can be granted to the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice.
Minor defendants can serve time in their homes if the circumstance allows.
Other penalties can include placement in foster care, community service, and fines.
Defending Juvenile Criminal Charges in Lexington
Each case is different. The defense strategy we pursue on behalf of your child will depend on the crime accused, the circumstance of the case, and the mental state of your child.
Our Lexington juvenile crimes attorneys will take into account the background and life experience of a child, and be sure to incorporate those factors into our argument that there were mitigating factors in your child’s case. For example, pre-existing conditions the child may have been suffering from prior to the offense and detention:
- Seventy-percent of juveniles arrested have an existing mental health disorder
- Forty-six percent have immediate physical or psychological health care needs
- The majority of children in the justice system have also experienced childhood trauma
Rest assured that our objective is to provide a vigorous defense for your child and consider every possible avenue we can pursue to get the charges dropped or lessened. We want your child to receive help, not be punished. With all the various programs available to help at-risk juveniles, we know there is a suitable option for your child, and we will negotiate for the best possible resolution.
Contact Our Lexington Juvenile Crimes Lawyers For Help Today
Has your child been arrested by a law enforcement officer or charged with a crime in Lexington, KY? We cannot let the system fail our youth. No child should suffer inside a facility if it can be prevented. Your child should not be labeled a criminal, which has a long-lasting effect on their prospects for the future.
Contact our team of Lexington juvenile crimes lawyers, at Suhre & Associates, LLC. We are here to help you and your family through this trying time. We have extensive experience representing clients charged as juvenile offenders, and we know how it has a major impact on the entire family.
We consider our clients to be family. Your child matters to us. Call us today and let our understanding team of Lexington juvenile crimes attorneys keep your child safe and fight hard for them to receive the resources needed to get life back on track. Your initial consultation is absolutely free.