Juvenile Defense Lawyer West Plains, MO
Juvenile defense lawyer in West Plains, MO. Navigating the complexities of the legal system as a juvenile can be an overwhelming experience for both you and your family. If you’re facing charges, no matter their severity, it’s crucial to have a skilled, experienced, and compassionate West Plains, MO juvenile defense lawyer by your side.
The juvenile defense lawyers at Combs Law Group specialize in representing individuals involved in criminal or delinquency proceedings in West Plains and throughout Missouri. Our legal team plays a vital role in making sure that our young clients in West Plains, MO and their families receive fair treatment and are provided with the best opportunities for rehabilitation. We realize that good people find themselves in bad situations, and we are dedicated to doing everything within our power to provide assistance.
Call Combs Law Group immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, no-strings-attached case review. Our West Plains, MO attorneys will go over the specifics of your case with you and your family and provide legal guidance and the best course of action.
Why You Need a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in West Plains, MO
In Missouri, the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court exclusively handles juvenile crimes, along with cases of abuse, neglect, adoptions, and other things. This is extremely beneficial to you due to the fact that when a juvenile is accused of a crime in West Plains or anywhere else in Missouri the Juvenile Division provides rehabilitative measures rather than punishment. However, this also means that you should have a seasoned West Plains, MO defense attorney by your side who understands the intricacies of the juvenile court proceedings.
The Combs Law Group West Plains, MO juvenile defense lawyer team has an abundance of experience in defending young clients. We collaborate with the court to secure the most favorable outcome for you and provide crucial elements like character statements and mitigating factors for the judge to consider. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
Who is a Juvenile or an Adult Under Missouri Law?
In accordance with the juvenile code, an adult is defined as an individual aged 18 years or older, whereas a child refers to anyone under the age of 18. It’s crucial to note that age distinctions may vary for different circumstances under the laws of, including:
- For driving purposes, there is a range between 15 ½ and 18 depending on the type of driver’s license.
- To consume or possess alcoholic beverages, an individual must be 21 years of age.
- In order to buy a long gun, an individual must be 18; for a handgun, it’s 21.
What Are Some Possible Outcomes of a Juvenile Accused of a Crime in West Plains or Elsewhere Throughout Missouri?
The possible outcomes for a juvenile accused of a crime can vary based on the severity of the offense, the juvenile’s prior record, and the specific circumstances of the case. All of these possibilities and what-ifs are precisely why you need a strong West Plains, MO juvenile defense attorney in your corner, fighting for your rights and future.
Do not leave it to chance in West Plains, MO; reach out to the attorneys at Combs Law Group right now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Here are some of the potential scenarios:
Juveniles may be eligible for diversion programs, which are alternative measures designed to divert them away from formal court proceedings. These programs frequently include counseling, community service in West Plains, MO, or educational components.
Probation stands as a common resolution for juvenile offenders in West Plains and across Missouri. It typically involves routine check-ins with a probation officer, compliance with specified conditions, and participation in rehabilitation programs. Our experienced West Plains, MO legal team excels in advocating for reasonable probation terms and offering invaluable support and guidance throughout the probationary period.
In some cases in West Plains, MO, juvenile offenders may be required to make restitution to the victim(s), whether via financial payments or community service.
In cases of severe or repeated offenses, the court may mandate juvenile confinement or placement outside of the home in the West Plains, MO area. This decision is often made when community-based rehabilitation appears impractical.
Some juvenile records may be expunged or sealed after the juvenile reaches a certain age, completes the required program, or stays out of trouble for a defined period. In some cases though, certain offenses can remain on your record even after you turn 18. It is vital to consult with a Combs Law Group juvenile defense lawyer in West Plains, MO for guidance on the specific guidelines per jurisdiction. Our team is available 24/7. Call us right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
It is important to realize that the West Plains and Missouri juvenile justice systems are designed to focus on the best interests of the juvenile, emphasizing rehabilitation and treatment. The specific outcome will be contingent upon the unique situations of each case and the discretion of the court.
What Are the Different Types of Juvenile Crimes in West Plains and Throughout Missouri?
Juvenile offenses in West Plains, MO can encompass a spectrum of offenses that vary in severity, from nonviolent to violent acts. Common types of juvenile crimes in West Plains and throughout Missouri include:
- Truancy: Under Revised Statutes of Missouri § 167.031, also known as the Compulsory Attendance Law, parents must ensure that a child is enrolled in and regularly attends school. Homeschooling is an option, but parents must prove the child is getting 1000 hours of instruction.
- Curfew Violations: This involves being in public during hours when a minor is required to be at home. These hours can vary by jurisdiction, so it is crucial to have an experienced juvenile defense lawyer by your side.
- Shoplifting and Theft/Burglary: Fortunately, the Missouri courts don’t feel children have the same decision-making abilities as adults. Property crimes, including shoplifting and theft, fall under the purview of the Juvenile Division. The approach is geared toward correcting juvenile behavior, often involving release to parents, restitution, probation, diversionary programs, counseling, or in more severe cases, detention or home confinement.
- Vandalism: Cases of juvenile vandalism are also heard by the Juvenile Division. This charge must be proven to have been purposeful and, like shoplifting, there are a range of penalties, including restitution and fines, probation, or even detention in severe cases.
- Trespassing: Juvenile trespassing is typically driven by different intentions than adult trespassing. Consequently, and fortunately for you, the courts see this and have far different penalties for juveniles – including probation, diversion programs, fines, or, in the most severe cases, detention.
- Traffic Violations: Juvenile traffic violations are unique in that, as explained above, a juvenile becomes an adult for driving purposes at 15 ½. The Juvenile Division cannot take any cases over that age, yet if the traffic violation is severe enough to warrant jail time a juvenile DWI charge for example, the traffic court judge will likely request the juvenile court to supersede.
- Assault: Recent legislative changes mean that a juvenile may now face charges of simple assault for causing injury to another individual or making serious threats. Referred to as assault in the fourth degree in RSMo. § 565.056, this offense is categorized as a misdemeanor, potentially leading to consequences like jail time, community service, restitution, probation, counseling, or fines.
- Arson: The penalties for juvenile arson vary wildly depending on the specific circumstances. In less severe instances, juveniles might be required to fulfill restitution or perform community service and undergo counseling. However, arson charges can quickly escalate to more serious consequences depending on the gravity of the offense.
- Gun Possession: Unfortunately, cases of juveniles facing charges for unlawful possession of a firearm are not uncommon. Potential penalties for this offense range from fines to more severe consequences like detention or even incarcertation.
Our knowledgeable legal team makes sure that the residents of West Plains, MO receive the best possible legal presentation in any situation. In addition to juvenile defense in West Plains, MO, our lawyers are experienced in several forms of law, such as:
Who Decides if a Juvenile Can Be Tried as an Adult in West Plains, MO?
If you are facing serious charges as a juvenile, it is important to consult with a defense attorney in West Plains, MO promptly. The legal team at Combs Law Group offers free consultations, accessible through (314) 900-HELP or via our online contact form.
According to RSMo. § 211.071, a juvenile court judge decides whether you will be tried as an adult after reading the charges, looking at your record, and after a hearing. Factors considered by the judge include the seriousness of the charges, the need to protect the community, the presence of force or violence in the crime, harm inflicted on others, your history of of breaking the law, and your age.
If you are tried as an adult, our St. Louis criminal defense lawyers will do everything in their power to prove your innocence. Yet, if you are found guilty, there are several things that could occur. You could be placed on probation and given a second chance. You may spend some time in a detention facility and then later be sent to an adult prison. Or, in a worst-case scenario, you may be immediately sent to an adult prison.
Connect With a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in West Plains, MO Today at Combs Law Group
Finding the right juvenile defense lawyer is paramount to securing a fair and just resolution for young individuals navigating the West Plains or Missouri legal system. With adept legal representation, West Plains, MO juveniles stand a better chance at rehabilitation and a promising future.
We comprehend the pressures and challenges faced by today’s youth, and we use this knowledge to your advantage. At Combs Law Group, we ardently advocate for our clients, irrespective of the severity of their charges. Call us right now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us for a free, no-obligation case review.