Legal Blog

Why It’s Important to Keep Kids Out of the Criminal System

05 April 2022 | Juvenile Charges,  

Attorney Sean Hessler

Written by
Sean Hessler

05 April 2022

Juvenile Charges,  

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Criminal convictions can have a devastating impact on the defendant’s life for years. However, if your child has been charged with a criminal offense, their entire future could be on the line.

Keeping kids out of the criminal justice system is critical if we hope to prevent them from becoming career criminals who spend their lives in and out of jail or prison.

When Kids Face Criminal Charges in Indiana

There are several instances in which children under 18 can be arrested or accused of breaking the law. There are two types of offenses: delinquent offenses and status offenses.

Delinquent Offenses

Delinquent offenses are those that adults can also commit. Some of the more common types of delinquent offenses your child could face include:

  • Battery
  • Driving a car without a license
  • Shoplifting
  • Theft
  • Assault

Status Offenses

Status offenses are those that only children can commit. Some of the more common types of status offenses your child could face include:

  • Underage drinking
  • Truancy
  • Running away from home
  • Curfew violations

Suppose your child has been arrested or charged with any of the previously mentioned offenses, or a different kind of crime that was not listed above. In that case, you’ll need a legal advocate on your side to help you clear their name.

Conviction Can Impact a Child’s Life

When children are convicted of criminal offenses, the consequences follow them into adulthood. If an adult conviction remains on your child’s record, they could face obstacles to pursuing employment, housing, and further education later in life.

If your child is referred to juvenile court, they could avoid going before a judge by working out a plea agreement. Children could go on probation, complete community service, attend mental health counseling, complete drug or alcohol treatment, go to school, or even be sent to a secured facility.

Unfortunately, many children wind up stuck in the criminal justice system and continue to face criminal charges and convictions into adulthood. For this reason, you must take action to protect your child’s future.

Protecting Your Kid’s Future with a Private Attorney

If you hope to help your child get through this challenging time, you have options to consider. Children in juvenile court have the right to an attorney. Although you could get assistance from a public defender, working with a private attorney ensures your child’s case receives the time and attention it deserves.

An attorney explains what to expect from the court process, the charges your child faces, and your next steps to secure a favorable outcome.

Possible Record Sealing & Expungement

If your child is convicted at the juvenile level, their record will not automatically be sealed when they reach the age of 18. These records remain accessible to anyone running a background check unless you get the records sealed or expunged.

To find out more about what could help rehabilitate your child so they can avoid becoming stuck in the criminal justice system, reach out to an Indiana juvenile law attorney to discuss your options going forward.

Get Help from an Indiana Juvenile Law Attorney Today

When your child’s entire life is on the line, and you are unsure where to turn for help, an experienced Indiana juvenile law attorney at Hessler Law, PC could help you get through these difficult times. Working with a private criminal defense attorney may be your best option to help your child avoid the devastating consequences of a juvenile conviction.

Contact Hessler Law today at 317-342-9287 to schedule a free consultation where we can further discuss your options.