The best Connecticut criminal juvenile lawyers and attorneys in Wilton, Norwalk, Greenwich, Darien, and Stamford often get calls from parents whose child has been arrested or issued a juvenile summons or juvenile ticket. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, as your child’s academic career, criminal record, and future are now on the line. And the first question parents always ask is whether they need a top Connecticut juvenile criminal lawyer attorney to represent their child in their Connecticut juvenile arrest case.
Of course they do. With so much to lose, you don’t want to take the risk of going into court alone. But is it worth the money? Here are 3 reasons why you would want to hire a top Connecticut juvenile criminal lawyer to stand by your child’s side in Connecticut juvenile court after a juvenile arrest in Greenwich, Darien, Stamford, Wilton or anywhere in Connecticut…
If your child gets a juvenile summons ticket resulting from a juvenile arrest in Stamford, Darien, Greenwich or Westport Connecticut for shoplifting, marijuana, disorderly conduct, or any other crime, you might be tempted to treat it like a speeding ticket. Top Connecticut juvenile lawyers will explain that in many cases, a juvenile summons actually qualifies as a misdemeanor or felony arrest. If your teenager is arrested in Stamford, Darien, Wilton, or Greenwich Connecticut, then he or she will either be released to you on a written “promise to appear” ticket and summoned to court at a later date, or your child will be taken into custody, spend the night in juvenile detention (for more serious felony arrests) and brought to court on the next business day.
Here’s what you need to know: On your child’s first juvenile court date, your child may have to appear in front of an actual judge in a closed criminal courtroom and enter a plea. The prosecutor will be looking for a guilty plea and a period of probation for your son or daughter. Appearing in Stamford, Bridgeport, or Danbury Juvenile Court without a top juvenile attorney can be overwhelming and risky, especially if the prosecutor wants to transfer your child’s case to adult court. That’s why getting in touch with any of the best Connecticut juvenile criminal law firms is critical—they can explain the process to you in detail, and then try and get the case closed as cost and time-efficiently as possible. For an even more detailed description of the Connecticut juvenile court process, click here.
Any of the best Stamford and Bridgeport juvenile criminal lawyers can explain to you that there are two different tracks for a juvenile arrest in Connecticut. First is the more desirable “non-judicial” track. Here, the juvenile arrest or summons / ticket is handled primarily by a Connecticut juvenile probation officer, who will work with your child, educate them, and demand that your child enters into a “Supervision Agreement.” They can impose conditions such as drug testing, community service, counseling, and other orders on your child. The upside here is that the case can ultimately resolve without a guilty plea or being placed on formal probation. Top Bridgeport, Stamford, and Danbury juvenile defense lawyers are sometimes able to advocate for a non-judicial disposition of your child’s case to avoid a juvenile conviction or probation before you even go to court.
The other method of juvenile prosecution is the “judicial adjudication” track, which looks and feels more like adult criminal court. Here, your child is summoned to court and appears in front of a Connecticut juvenile judge, and a juvenile prosecutor will prosecute the charges, often looking for a conviction. Juvenile prosecutors will also look for long periods of probation, which can drag the case out, be overly burdensome for you and your child, and expose your child to jail consequences if they get into additional trouble or if they get arrested again while on juvenile probation. So if your child is arrested in Connecticut or gets a juvenile summons to appear in court, get in touch with a top Connecticut juvenile attorney who can fight to get the case placed on a “non-judicial” track or, at the least, get you a plea bargain for a shorter probationary period if the case goes “judicial.”
Connecticut parents are always concerned about whether their child’s case can be transferred out of juvenile court and into adult court, where the case will then become public record and available for all future employment background checks (as opposed to being confidentially sealed, as all Connecticut juvenile arrests are at the beginning of a case). That concern is for good reason – once a case is transferred out of Connecticut juvenile court, your child can face adult penalties, including jail time, adult probation, and the fines that come with a conviction. For more about what triggers either an automatic or discretionary transfer of a Connecticut juvenile court case to adult court and related defense strategies, schedule a consultation with a top Greenwich, Wilton or Darien Connecticut juvenile criminal lawyer.
The team of Connecticut criminal juvenile lawyers and attorneys at Mark Sherman Law regularly defend Connecticut juveniles and their parents in the Connecticut juvenile court system, as well as during the investigation stages. Our focus is on results—getting your child’s Connecticut juvenile court case or investigation closed as quickly as possible. Check out our certified reviews to see what our former juvenile clients have to say about us. We are available anytime at (203) 358-4700.