Boston Juvenile Crime Lawyer
Professional Boston Defense Services For Juvenile Defendants
When young ones get in trouble with the law, there are steps to take to mitigate the penalties and severe punishment that could lead to a scarred life right from the start. If your child or loved one has been accused of committing a crime, any type of crime, it is in their and your best interests to speak with an lawyer at once. Protect the rights and future of your child and yourself by calling an lawyer with Leontire and Associates, P.C.. Our Boston juvenile crime lawyers offer compassionate legal advice while aggressively perusing the best interests of your child. We never stop fighting for our clients, and would be glad to meet with you at no cost for an initial consultation.
Does the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System Seek to Punish or Rehabilitate?
According to the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services, the original goal of juvenile courts and the juvenile delinquency code was to provide direction and guidance, and to treat children as children, not adults. However, the times have changed quite a bit, and in 1996, while it was popular for politicians to be “tough on crime,” the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1996 was enacted. The reform has created a system that criminalizes more serious offenses, though continues to focus on rehabilitation in some cases.
Defining a Juvenile in Massachusetts
It is left up to the court to decide the punishment in many cases, specifically whether the defendant will be tried as an adult, as a child, or a combination sentence. In many cases, punishment will be nothing more than a court ordered appearance, fines, or other minor penalties. However, the more serious the offense, the more harsh the penalty. You may face loss of custody or your child may face confinement to a halfway house or juvenile detention facility.
If the defendant is between seven and 17 years old and is found guilty of committing a felony, a misdemeanor, or has violated a city ordinance or town by-law, the maximum sentence that can be handed down, an indeterminate sentence, is commitment to a juvenile delinquent facility until they are 18. However, if they are aged 14 to 17, and they committed a felony offense with one or more of the following, they may be held in a juvenile detention facility until they are 21, a combination juvenile sentence and adult sentence, or they may be tried as an adult:
- Previous juvenile detention facility commitment;
- Committed a certain firearm offense;
- Committed an offense that caused or threatened serious bodily harm.
Moreover, all juveniles 14 and older who are charged with murder shall be tried as full grown adults.
Stop This From Being Your Child’s Starting Off Point. Contact a Boston Lawyer at Once
Juvenile punishment is no slap on the wrist. Whether your child committed the offense or not, you need experienced criminal defense on your side. Call the Boston law offices of Leontire and Associates, P.C. today for help.