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In Massachusetts, juvenile crimes are viewed with the understanding that minors often lack the maturity and capacity to fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. The system aims more towards reform and rehabilitation, rather than mere punishment. However, this does not imply leniency, and serious offenses can still result in substantial penalties.
When your child has been charged with any type of criminal offense, turn to Attorney Andrew H.P. Norton for trusted defense representation. With nearly 30 years of criminal defense experience, our Bridgewater juvenile crime lawyer understands the unique nuances of how to successfully navigate these cases and protect the interests of minors and their families. We are prepared to represent juveniles charged with drug crimes, theft crimes, violent crimes, and more. You can expect personalized advocacy and honest advice that will help you make informed, constructive decisions. We will also leverage the full extent of our skills and resources as we work to secure an optimal outcome.
Schedule an initial consultation today by calling (508) 422-0815 or contacting us online.
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In Massachusetts, a juvenile delinquent is typically defined as a person between the ages of 7 and 17 who has committed an offense that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult. However, it is important to understand that not every minor who commits an offense is classified as a delinquent. Only those who have been adjudicated by a juvenile court are officially given the label of a “juvenile delinquent.” This adjudication process involves an assessment of the minor's actions, the circumstances surrounding the offense, and the minor's previous history with the law. In some severe cases, where the crime is particularly heinous or the minor has a significant history of unlawful behavior, the juvenile may be tried as an adult, despite being under the legal adult age. Children under the age of 7 are not typically charged even if they commit a criminal act, as the law recognizes they are generally unable to distinguish between right and wrong.
Understanding the Penalties for Juvenile Offenses
The consequences of a juvenile crime conviction can be significant and far-reaching. In the short term, a young offender may face penalties such as probation, community service, fines, or even detention in a juvenile facility. However, the implications often extend beyond these immediate punishments. A single conviction can negatively affect the juvenile's educational opportunities, impeding college applications or scholarship eligibility. It might also impose restrictions on future employment prospects, as some employers might hesitate to hire individuals with a juvenile record. Our Bridgewater juvenile crime attorney is ready to aggressively defend your child and will fight to protect their future.
When Is a Juvenile Tried as an Adult in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, there are circumstances that lead to a juvenile being tried as an adult. The primary determinant is the type and severity of the crime committed. For instance, if a juvenile, aged 14 and above, is accused of a serious crime, such as murder, they can be tried in the regular adult criminal court. Furthermore, a juvenile who stands accused of a violent offense and has past criminal records may also be subject to adult court jurisdiction. This is a critical juncture where the knowledge and experience of an attorney like Andrew H.P. Norton becomes indispensable. His deep understanding of the juvenile justice system and experience in navigating its complexities can help ensure that the juvenile's rights are protected, regardless of the severity of the charges.
If your child has recently been arrested, do not wait to get legal advice. Get in touch with our Bridgewater juvenile crime lawyer by calling (508) 422-0815 or contacting us online today.