Kansas Juvenile Criminal Defense

Benjamin Long has over a decade of experience defending juveniles charged with crimes in Kansas. There are many unique issues for kids charged with crimes. Not only is it important to understand the unique laws that apply to juveniles, but also how to navigate children through the criminal justice system at such an important time in their life. As kids prepare for college, look for a job, play sports, or apply for scholarships or financial aid, it’s imperative to make sure that criminal charges have as little effect as possible on their future.

Benjamin Long works with national organizations dedicated to youth defense and teaching lawyers how best to represent children interacting with the criminal justice system. His mission is to improve youth defense throughout Kansas and the Midwest.

Understanding Penalties for Juvenile’s Charged with Crimes

The adult and juvenile criminal systems are entirely different. They mainly rely on two distinct sets of laws in Kansas. Punishments and sentences are also different for juveniles. In Kansas, punishments for juveniles can include:

  • House arrest (ankle monitor)
  • Probation
  • Counseling
  • Community Service
  • Placement in custody of the state of foster care
  • Detention at a county or state detention center

The factors that judges use to determine punishments are different than those for adults. It’s important for the defense attorney to know these separate rules well when negotiating for and assisting a child charged with a crime.

Juvenile Drug Offenses

Many youth cases involve drug-related offenses like possession and distribution. While drug use is becoming more prevalent and more widely accepted in our society, laws and consequences for juveniles caught with drugs are only becoming more severe. Kansas aggressively prosecutes juveniles accused of drug offenses.

Charging Children as Adults

Sometimes, prosecutors ask the court to transfer a juvenile case to adult court. This is known as “waiver” or attempting to “waive a juvenile to adult status” in Kansas. In these cases, there is an entire separate trial to the court to first determine if the case will remain in juvenile court. It is imperative you hire an attorney who has experience with waiver trials. They require presentation of evidence related to adolescent brain development, almost always with the use of an expert witness hired by the defense attorney. It’s also important for the attorney to investigate things like health evaluations, school records, IEP’s, and other documents and evidence.
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