Kansas Juvenile Criminal Defense
Why Hire a Juvenile Law Attorney?
Juveniles in Kansas are more likely to be treated as adults than in many other states. Juvenile charges are serious in nature and need to be handled by an experienced Olathe juvenile defense attorney.
If your child has been accused of a delinquent act in juvenile court contact experienced criminal defense attorney, Vinnie Rivera at The Rivera Law Office.
Do Juveniles Have the Right to an Attorney?
In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), a landmark decision was made by the U.S. Supreme Court that stated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment would apply to juvenile defendants.
Additionally, Juvenile Defendants Have the Legal Right:
- to timely notification of delinquency charges.
- to confront witnesses.
- against self-incrimination.
- to have charges proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
- to an attorney.
The Ruling Also Gave the Right to Notice of the Charges. In re Gault Requires That:
- the juvenile be provided with notice of the charges they face.
- the juvenile be granted the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses through their attorney.
- a minor cannot be forced to testify against themselves. The minor has the right to invoke their 5th amendment right and not self-incriminate themselves.
- even with these rights being recognized minors do not have the right constitutional right to seek bail. Most of the time juveniles will be released to a guardian or parent.
Can an Adult Be Tried for a Crime They Committed as a Child?
An adult can be prosecuted for a crime committed as a juvenile. If the crime is within the statute of limitations. For most crimes, this is 5 years. The adult will be charged in juvenile court because the crime was committed as a juvenile. However, the prosecution can seek to have the case moved to adult court.In Kansas, the process of having a juvenile tried as an adult is called a "waiver hearing." This is an in-depth hearing, that can include testimony from police, psychiatrists, counselors and family members.
In Kansas, the Judge Will Decide Whether to Prosecute the Juvenile as an Adult Based On:
- the seriousness of the allegation.
- the offense was aggressive, violent or premeditated.
- whether force was used.
- the number of pending charges.
- the juvenile's criminal history.
- the maturity of the juvenile.
- availability of rehabilitation.
- the interests of the community.
- No individual factor is controlling, instead the Judge is required to consider all factors together.
Juvenile Sex Crimes
As a teenager accused of a sex crime it can be a terrifying experience one that can carry serious consequences for a lifetime. For a parent the accusations can be humiliating and disgraceful and can take a toll on your happiness for long periods of time.
The worst part is many times the juvenile lacking maturity and awareness does not even realize they committed a sexual offense.
When a Juvenile under the Age of 14 Is Adjudicated (Convicted) By the Court of a Sexually Violent Crime Are Required To:
- Register until 18 years of age, at the expiration of five years from the date of adjudication or, if confined, five years from release from confinement, whichever date occurs later.
- When a juvenile over the age of 14 is adjudicated (convicted) by the court of a sexually violent crime are required to register for life.
- In Kansas, a juvenile may be required to register either publicly or through "private registration." The difference is whether the public is able to see that a juvenile is a registered offender.
Juvenile Drug Crimes
A juvenile knowingly in the possession of an illegal drug or prescription not belonging to him or without a legal reason can be charged with drug crimes by the court.
Many times, juveniles will be charged with drug possession after being pulled over by a police officer. The officer notices marijuana in the car and proceeds to search the vehicle or person and finds the juvenile in possession of illegal drugs. Juveniles are often charged with possession of an illegal drug such as marijuana, methamphetamine, or prescription drugs that do not belong to them.
What Can a Juvenile Lawyer Do for You?
Juvenile defense attorneys must have all the legal knowledge and courtroom skills of a criminal defense attorney representing adult defendants. In addition, juvenile defenders must be aware of the strengths and needs of their juvenile clients and of their clients' families, communities, and other social structures.
In some cases, the juvenile record can result in the child being expelled from his public or private middle school or high school, particularly when the crime occurred on the school bus or at the school. Many of the schools throughout Johnson & Wyandotte Counties have a zero-tolerance policy, particularly for drug offenses or weapon charges. Other indirect consequences of a juvenile record can follow the child into adulthood even if the child is able to remain in his school.
If your child was arrested or detained by law enforcement for any type of delinquent act or criminal offense, then contact the Olathe juvenile defense lawyers at our experienced firm immediately.