Psychotherapist talking to troubled teenage boy in hood

Clarksville Juvenile Crime Lawyers

Many parents and guardians feel overwhelmed and anxious about understanding the legal intricacies surrounding juvenile offenses in Tennessee. Facing the legal system can be overwhelming, and when the individual involved is a young person, the stakes feel incredibly high. If your child has been accused of committing a criminal offense, contact our dedicated Clarksville juvenile crime lawyers so we can begin fighting for their future.

Juvenile Crime Lawyers | Here to Protect Your Child’s Future

Engaging a seasoned team of Montgomery County criminal defense lawyers is imperative when your child’s future is on the line. Just some of how Fendley & Etson can assist you are as follows:

  • Understanding the System: An experienced lawyer is familiar with the intricacies of the juvenile justice system and can navigate its complexities efficiently.
  • Evidence Evaluation: Your lawyer will scrutinize the evidence, ensuring it was lawfully obtained and is admissible in court.
  • Plea Negotiations: In some cases, a plea deal can lead to reduced charges or penalties. A lawyer can negotiate on behalf of your child.
  • Trial Representation: Should the case go to trial, your lawyer will advocate for your child’s rights and best interests.
  • Post-Trial Support: From appealing verdicts to seeking expungement, your lawyer can provide continued support even after the trial concludes.

Juvenile Crimes Defined in Tennessee

In the legal realm, age plays a pivotal role in determining how an individual’s actions are judged and penalized. Tennessee is no different.

In Tennessee, a juvenile refers to an individual under 18. However, certain circumstances can alter this definition, such as when an individual, although underage, is tried as an adult due to the severity of their crime.

Common Examples of Juvenile Offenses in Tennessee

Some of the most common examples of juvenile offenses that we see include the following:

  • Vandalism: Often resulting from a moment of impulsivity, property destruction can have legal repercussions.
  • Theft: This can range from shoplifting to more significant property theft.
  • Drug and Alcohol offenses: Minors found in possession of illegal substances or under the influence.
  • Assault: Physical altercations can escalate quickly, leading to charges.
  • Trespassing: Entering or remaining on another’s property without permission.

Importantly, each of these offenses, among others, can have significant consequences for the young person involved.

How The Juvenile Process Differs from Standard Criminal Process in Tennessee

The legal process for juveniles in Tennessee is distinct from that of adults, primarily because it centers on rehabilitating the young offender rather than punishment. A general overview of the process is as follows;

  1. Initial Detainment: Unlike adults, juveniles are not typically arrested. Instead, they might be detained temporarily while the case details are determined.
  2. Petition Filing: If authorities believe the case has merit, a petition is filed to the Juvenile Court.
  3. Detention Hearing: Should a juvenile remain in custody, a hearing takes place within 72 hours to decide the need for continued detention.
  4. Adjudicatory Hearing: This is analogous to a trial but lacks certain formalities in adult court.
  5. Disposition Hearing: Following a finding of guilt, this hearing decides the most suitable corrective action for the juvenile.

Can a Juvenile Ever Go to Jail?

A common concern among parents is the possibility of their child facing incarceration. In Tennessee, juveniles typically don’t go to traditional adult prisons or jails. However, for serious crimes or repeat offenders, a juvenile can be tried as an adult, potentially resulting in incarceration in an adult facility. More commonly, they might be sent to a juvenile detention center or be mandated to participate in correctional programs designed for rehabilitation.

Tennessee’s juvenile justice system operates under the principle that young individuals can change, focusing on rehabilitating minors and ensuring they have the tools and support to make better decisions in the future. However, if a minor commits a criminal offense deemed heinous by a judge, incarceration is a real possibility. In any case, if your child is accused of a crime, you need a team of competent juvenile crime lawyers in your corner.

Contact Our Montgomery County Juvenile Crime Lawyers

Facing juvenile charges can be a trying experience for the young person and their family. That said, with the right team of juvenile crime lawyers in your corner, the experience can become far more manageable. Contact Fendley & Etson today so we can get started working on your case and fighting for your child’s future.