Criminal Defense Attorneys for Juvenile Offenses in Kentucky
As a law firm that concentrates heavily in both family law and criminal defense, Greta Hoffman & Associates is ideally situated to help you when your son or daughter has been caught up in the juvenile justice system. An adjudication of delinquency can create tremendous obstacles in the path of a youth regarding education, employment, military service and other aspects of one’s future. In addition, Kentucky law provides many instances where a minor can be tried and sentenced as an adult. The attorneys at Great Hoffman & Associates in Florence help youths dealing with juvenile offenses obtain the best results possible and secure a brighter path toward their future.
Kentucky Juvenile Delinquency Laws
The juvenile session of the District Court has exclusive jurisdiction over children under 18 years old. However, there are many instances when a case can or must be transferred to the Circuit Court. While the focus in the juvenile session is on rehabilitation, in Circuit Court a youth can be tried and sentenced as an adult.
Generally speaking, the juvenile court judge has the discretion to transfer a case to Circuit Court in the following situations:
- A minor who is 14 years old or older and is charged with a capital offense or certain felonies such as manslaughter, certain assaults, rape and other sex offenses
- A minor 16 years old or older charged with certain felonies who has been previously adjudicated
Transfer to Circuit Court is mandatory for a youth 14 years old or more for an offense in which a firearm is used, so long as probable cause exists to believe the youth committed the crime and used a firearm in the commission of the offense.
Under Kentucky law, juveniles offenders are classified into one of three different categories, depending upon the nature of the offense and how the case is handled:
- Status Offenders – when the crime is based on a youth’s status as a juvenile, such as runaway, habitual truancy, or purchase of alcohol or tobacco
- Public Offenders – when the youth commits a public or firearm offense that would be a crime if committed by adult
- Youthful Offenders – when a child is transferred to and convicted by the Circuit Court
Help is Available with Kentucky Juvenile Arrests
While the primary focus of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment, several changes to the law in recent decades have made the juvenile justice system more punitive than it was before. The risks and consequences for a juvenile offender are greater than ever, and so is the necessity for knowledgeable, compassionate and effective legal representation. At Greta Hoffman & Associates, we utilize all of our skills as comprehensive criminal defense lawyers, family law attorneys and mediators to best represent the juvenile and obtain the best outcome possible. From dependency hearings to juvenile court to sealing and expungement of juvenile arrest records, our goal is to help secure the brightest future possible and ensure that an encounter with the juvenile justice system does not overly impact a minor’s chances for future success.
If your son or daughter has been arrested for a juvenile offense or other more serious crime, contact Greta Hoffman & Associates in Florence for immediate assistance. Our lawyers practice throughout northern Kentucky, and we offer a free consultation in criminal law matters. Our 24-hour criminal defense hotline is (859) 444-1112. Call now or contact us online to schedule a no-cost, confidential consultation with one of our experienced juvenile law attorneys.