Facing criminal charges at any age can be stressful, but even more so if you are a juvenile who might not have the maturity or life experience to understand the legal system. Fortunately, there is help available. If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia, the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC., could assist with your child’s case.
The sooner we can get to work, the more time we will have to build a strong defense, negotiate a reduced charge or dismissal, and prepare for court. Our team will fight aggressively to protect your child’s rights and get their life back on track.
We Represent Juveniles in Philadelphia
At the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC., we are proud to represent clients of all ages who stand accused of all types of crimes. Our services include:
- A free consultation: It will not cost you anything to find out how a defense attorney from our Philadelphia office can help with your juvenile criminal case.
- Evidence collection: We can seek proof of your child’s innocence from witnesses, documents like police reports, and any evidence the prosecution has gathered.
- Negotiation: Sometimes, we can persuade the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss the charges against our clients. Other times, we negotiate with them to allow our client to plead guilty to a less severe charge. In juvenile cases, the defendant’s age and other factors may make a prosecutor or judge more likely to consider leniency of this sort.
- Courtroom representation: When our clients’ cases go to court, we can present a convincing defense before a judge.
- Legal advice: We can provide information about your options and advise which path may be best for you and your family.
For a free legal consultation with a juvenile defense lawyer serving Philadelphia, call 215.515.3360
We Represent Many Types of Criminal Cases
Unlike law firms that specialize in only a few types of criminal cases, our team has the experience and determination to help those accused of a wide variety of charges such as:
- Burglary, robbery, and theft
- Drug possession, manufacture, and other drug offenses
- Firearm offenses
- Rape and sexual offenses
You do not have to fight these charges on your own. The Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC., represents all the cases listed above and more. Sabrina Vasquez, one of our former clients, called our services “very professional and responsive.” Having such representation on your side could make it easier for your family to navigate the legal process.
Philadelphia Juvenile Defense Lawyer 215.515.3360
Juvenile Cases Are Different From Others
There are several differences between being charged or convicted as an adult or a juvenile. The Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission explains how juvenile cases go through a separate system and face an adjudication hearing rather than a jury trial. The process of getting a criminal record expunged may also be easier if the individual was under 18 at the time of the arrest or conviction.
Per The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, juvenile expungement applies to cases where:
- The attorney for the Commonwealth gives their consent
- Enough time has passed since the completion of the sentence
- The juvenile has not been subsequently convicted of any other crimes
- The charges involved are not severe (e.g., rape or homicide)
Our team knows all the differences between juvenile and adult cases. We can explain these differences to you and determine what course of action might yield the best results in your child’s case.
Penalties and How They Affect Juveniles
Even if the accused is under 18, they could face serious consequences if convicted. This is especially true if the charges against them are very serious, such as firearm offenses or sexual assault.
If your child goes through the juvenile system and is found to have committed a delinquent act, they could become subject to a supervised consent decree, receive probation, or be placed in a detention facility.
However, if your child is tried as an adult, 18 Pa. C.S.A. Chapter 11 defines what types of penalties they could receive for crimes of various severities or “grades.” These may include:
- Fines ranging from $300 to $50,000
- Jail or prison time ranging from a few months to a life sentence
- Paying restitution to the victim
What Does a Conviction/Adjudication Mean?
Even if your child was accused of a relatively mild crime, it could have a lasting effect on their:
- Academic career: Some schools might exclude anyone with a criminal record, preventing them from getting the education they want. Also, hefty fines and fees may make it harder to afford the college of their choice.
- Professional career: Just like schools, some employers believe that those with criminal records cannot be good employees.
- Residence: Some property owners and landlords will not rent homes or apartments to people convicted of specific crimes.
- Social life: People may act differently around your child if they know of their criminal record. Also, jail or prison time, license suspension, and other penalties may affect their ability to stay in touch with friends and family.
- Overall well-being: A conviction can traumatize anyone, especially a teenager. After going through the legal process and spending time behind bars, your child might never be the same.
Your child’s age might shield them from the most onerous penalties, but there is no guarantee. Let our team ensure that the law respects your child’s rights throughout the case.
Call the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC., to Get Started Today
At the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC., we understand how frightening it is when your child faces criminal charges. A juvenile defense attorney from our firm would like to fight for your child’s freedom, no matter their age or the charges against them. Call our Philadelphia office today at (215) 515-3360 to receive a free consultation and learn more.