When young people make certain kinds of mistakes, they are told that things will be fine. After all, individuals are meant to learn from their mistakes and learning is the hallmark of youth. However, when young people make other kinds of mistakes, they can be made to face consequences that may affect them for the rest of their lives. Young people cannot always distinguish between the kinds of mistakes that will lead to reassurance and the kinds of mistakes that will lead to life-altering consequences.
When juveniles are confronted with delinquency or with complex criminal charges, they may not understand the full ramifications of this reality. However, criminal defense attorneys with experience in dealing with these kinds of cases do understand. Not only do experienced attorneys understand the potential ramifications of delinquency or criminal charges, they understand how to help young people obtain the best possible treatment under the law given the circumstances.
Sometimes, juveniles are treated as adults under the law. If convicted, these juveniles may face imprisonment in adult facilities and a lifelong criminal record that could make future housing, schooling and employment difficult to obtain. It is vitally important that juveniles charged with serious offenses are given access to experienced legal representation so that the risk of a future colored by imprisonment and a criminal record is minimized.
However, it is also important that juveniles charged with lesser offenses are granted access to experienced attorneys. While these lesser offenses may not lead to imprisonment or a lifelong record, they could impair the ability of youths to either get into or continue with college, avoid social consequences and remain free of the criminal justice system in the future.
Young people do not always understand the scope of their mistakes or potential consequences. Thankfully, professionals within the criminal defense field do understand these things and are often available to help.