One foolish or carless decision has the potential of ruining your child’s future. If your son or daughter has been charged with a Knoxville juvenile crime, you need to act quickly. Regardless of whether the juvenile crime is a felony or a misdemeanor, your child’s future, and possibly his or her freedom, is at stake. Convictions for some Knoxville juvenile crimes can remain on your child’s permanent criminal record preventing your child from obtaining the education, employment, and professional licenses that he or she desires. We can help!
Before you or your child answer questions from law enforcement officers, investigators, or representatives of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) or consent to a recorded or written statement, contact the criminal defense lawyers of Hodges Doughty & Carson at 865-292-2307. Your child’s legal rights may be in jeopardy if you provide information that can be used against them in a court hearing. As experienced Knoxville juvenile crime defense attorneys, we can help you minimize the long-term effects of a juvenile crime conviction on your child’s life.
Time is of the essence — we must begin an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the allegations against your child to build the strongest defense strategy possible to either dismiss the charges or minimize the sentence and fines imposed for a conviction.
What is the Tennessee Juvenile Justice System?
In order to deal with juvenile crime, also referred to as delinquency, Tennessee established the juvenile court system. Juvenile court is very different from the system designed to handle crimes committed by adults. The rules and procedures used in the juvenile justice system vary greatly from the adult criminal justice system; therefore, you must have an attorney who has experience practicing in juvenile courts to represent your child.
The juvenile criminal court system handles a variety of criminal juvenile cases and non-criminal juvenile cases. Non-criminal juvenile cases include child guardianship, visitation rights, paternity, termination of parental rights, and emancipation of a minor.
Knoxville juveniles, just like any other juveniles, commit a variety of crimes for a variety of reasons. Our office has experience in a variety of juvenile crime cases including but not limited to:
- Underage drinking and/or DUI charges
- Theft and burglary
- Charges related to illegal drugs
- Alcohol possession
- Assault or other violent acts
- Traffic offenses
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Juvenile sexual offenses
- Truancy or delinquency
- Bullying or harassment
- Evading the police or interfering with a police investigation
What Punishments Do Children Receive For Convictions Of Knoxville Juvenile Crimes?
If the judge determines that your child is guilty of the alleged crime, the judge has several sentencing options available. The penalties imposed depend on the crime involved, the circumstances surrounding the crime, the age of the child, and other applicable factors. Penalties that judges may order for the conviction of a juvenile crime include:
- Community Service
- Serve time in a juvenile correctional facility
- Pay restitution to the victims
- Inpatient or outpatient counseling and/or treatment
Why Do You Need an Experienced Knoxville Juvenile Defense Attorney Immediately?
In order to protect your child and to give them a chance at the best possible outcome, you want a juvenile defense attorney who has experience working with prosecutors in the juvenile court system. In some cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to minimize the punishment or jointly request the judge order a punishment that will benefit and help the child with whatever underlying issue may have caused the crime (i.e. drug treatment program).
In the event that the prosecutor is unwilling to negotiate a plea agreement, you must have an experienced juvenile defense attorney who has the trial experience, skill, and knowledge to develop a strong legal defense to present to the judge. The goal of your attorney is to have the juvenile criminal charges against your child dismissed. If this is not possible, you need a skilled and experienced negotiator and trial litigator to get the best result possible for your child.
Depending on the type of crime, the age of the child, and the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, your child could be tried as an adult. If this is the case, your child could be facing sever adult penalties if they are convicted of the crime. It is essential that you contact an experienced juvenile defense attorney immediately to argue that your child should not be tried as an adult and that the case should remain in the juvenile court system.
The Knoxville criminal defense attorneys of Hodges Doughty & Carson have extensive experience handling juvenile crimes. The strategies used to defend juvenile crime are different from strategies used to defend adult crimes. Furthermore, the legal process for juvenile crime is very different; therefore, you need an attorney who has substantial knowledge, skill, and expertise in this area of law to represent your child.
Contact Our Office for a Confidential Consultation
The attorneys of Hodges Doughty & Carson understand that this is an extremely emotional, tense, and frightening situation for you and for your child. We believe that some problems are better addressed outside of the court system; therefore, our attorneys work with Knoxville families to find solutions other than jail time for their child.
Problems in school, substance abuse, or psychiatric issues are often better addressed by professionals trained to help your child rather than the judicial system. We can assist you in obtaining professional help for your child before we go to court to demonstrate to the court your commitment, and your child’s commitment, to addressing the underlying issues that resulted in the allegation of a Knoxville juvenile crime.
Our attorneys provide comprehensive legal representation for minors who have been charged a juvenile crime in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and the Tri-Cities area to achieve the best possible outcome in these types of cases. Contact our office today at 865-292-2307 for a confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights with an experienced Knoxville juvenile crime defense attorney.
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