St. Louis Juvenile Defense Attorneys
Unfortunately, minors, like adults, engage in troublesome behaviors. However, because of their age and the desire to set minors on a right path before adulthood, the government treats juvenile offenders differently than adult offenders. In Missouri, minors who are charged with criminal acts fall within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Most juvenile offenses remain in the juvenile court, which has the ultimate advantage of minimizing sentences so that they generally cannot extend beyond age twenty-one. Also, juvenile courts take advantage of alternative sentencing, trying to rehabilitate youth offenders, providing psychological and substance abuse treatment where appropriate, continuing education and even beginning job training. Juvenile records are generally kept confidential and any convictions would not be available to future schools or employers.
The more serious the offense, and the older the juvenile, the more likely the government will seek to try the juvenile as an adult. Once the court certifies a juvenile to be tried as an adult, the juvenile can be subject to the same penalties for the crime as an adult (with certain exceptions – for example, a juvenile cannot be executed). When faced with a serious criminal charge, the first and often most important act will be the certification hearing. An experienced and expert juvenile defense attorney in St. Louis is most needed at this critical juncture, as it means the difference between several years in a youth facility and many more years in a state prison.
While a juvenile has a right to counsel in the juvenile court system, the juvenile court does not operate in the same manner as the criminal courts for adults. To maximize successful representation, a minor in the juvenile court system needs an attorney who understands the procedural and substantive legal intricacies of the juvenile court system.
If you or your child face investigation for or charges related to a juvenile offense, you want to carefully choose the lawyer who will handle your case. You want an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to protect your rights.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C., we have more than 60 years of combined legal experience. We have personally handled more than 1,000 criminal trials, so we have the skill, knowledge and experience to protect your rights in court. We can also quickly determine whether your interests will best be served by seeking a plea agreement or taking advantage of the many alternative sentencing options in the juvenile court system.
Our Juvenile Offenses Defense Practice
We provide comprehensive counsel to minors charged with criminal offenses in the juvenile courts in Missouri.
Our lawyers handle a broad range of juvenile offenses, including:
- Drug Offenses (Possession and Distribution)
- Stealing and Shoplifting
- Violent Crimes
- Delinquency and Truancy
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- Sex-related Offenses
- Traffic Violations
- Criminal Trespass
If you hire The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to defend you in a firearms offense, we will conduct a full investigation of your case, looking at how police gathered evidence against you, as well as the credibility of any testimony against you. Remember, just because the offense charged involves a minor, minors still enjoy key constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. We will confirm whether law enforcement officers had probable cause to conduct any search, seizure or arrest, and whether you were properly advised of your constitutional rights if taken into custody.
Contact The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C.
For a free initial consultation with an experienced St. Louis criminal law attorney, contact us online or call our office at 314-993-6300 or toll free at 800-844-2232. We will set up a telephone consultation, if necessary, and will meet with you on Saturday upon request. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are welcome.