Get Real Justice from the Connecticut Juvenile Justice System
Every year, an average of 11,000 children are arrested for a juvenile crime in Connecticut. Of those adolescents, around 3,000 are found guilty of a crime under our state’s juvenile justice system.
The Connecticut juvenile justice system is a state-level network of courts, detention centers, private residential facilities, and correctional facilities designed exclusively for juveniles. The juvenile justice system handles cases for children between the ages of 7 and 18 years old.
Although the same criminal statutes apply to juveniles as adults, Connecticut juvenile courts have different procedures and assign different, typically less severe penalties than criminal courts for adults.
If a youth is found guilty of breaking the law, he or she is usually considered adjudicated delinquent rather than convicted, for example. In addition, instead of being sent to an adult jail, offenders under the age of 18 are typically sent to the state’s secure juvenile facilities.
Connecticut juvenile facilities are designed for rehabilitation rather than punishment, though these facilities have recently come under scrutiny for dangerous conditions and the unlawful over-use of restraint and seclusion tactics.
If your child has been arrested or charged with a juvenile crime in Connecticut, do not make the mistake of taking their charges lightly. Even as a juvenile, your child may be up against serious penalties, including lengthy probation and detention facility stays. In addition, if your child is aged 15 or older and charged with a felony, the case may be transferred to an adult criminal court.
As a seasoned juvenile lawyer and dedicated member of the New Haven community, I believe children should be protected by the same strong defense strategies as adults. I have helped many families navigate the complex, oftentimes overwhelming Connecticut juvenile court system to ensure their child’s rights are safeguarded.
If you are a parent with a minor who is in trouble with the law, get in touch with me at The Law Office of Douglas D. Rudolph to learn more about your options for helping your child. Together, we can keep him or her from falling through the cracks of the Connecticut juvenile justice system and get them back on the right track.
New Haven Criminal Lawyer Douglas D. Rudolph Explains What to Expect If Your Child Has Been Arrested in Connecticut
After arresting your child, the police officer may or may not decide to send his or her case to juvenile court. If the arresting officer decides not to file charges, you may be referred to a Connecticut youth services bureau or juvenile review board.
If your son or daughter is referred to such a board, you will be required to attend a meeting with your child. He or she may have to admit that they did something wrong and complete treatment and/or another assignment. If your child does not comply, he or she may have to go to court.
Alternatively, when an arresting officer does decide to press charges, they may release your child if they trust he or she will stay out of trouble and show up for their court date. In this case, the police will issue a ticket with a court date on it. It is important that your child appears in court on this date, or you risk being charged with an additional crime – Failure to Appear.
Before the court date, the case will be reviewed by a probation officer. If your son or daughter has been accused of a minor crime that did not involve bodily harm or property damage and it is his or her first offense, the probation officer may recommend that the case is handled out of court.
In this case, your family may be able to meet with a probation officer rather than appearing before a judge in a formal hearing. Your child may then be required to sign a form admitting he or she did something wrong and attend counseling or perform community service.
Although admitting fault outside of court does not count as a conviction, the offense will be recorded so the courts will know if your son or daughter gets in trouble with the law again.
If the probation officer decides to send the case to court, it is likely to be sent to juvenile court in the town where your family lives. If your child is detained in detention, however, the first hearing will be in the juvenile court of the town where he or she is being held.
Finally, if your son or daughter is 14 or older and charged with a felony, he or she may be transferred to an adult court. Class A or B felonies are automatically transferred to adult courts, while all other felonies may be transferred according to the juvenile prosecutor’s discretion.
The Law Office of Douglas D. Rudolph Can Help Protect Your Child’s Rights in Connecticut Juvenile Court
No matter the circumstances, it is critical to obtain legal counsel from a Connecticut juvenile defense lawyer as soon as your child is arrested in New Haven or the surrounding area. Your lawyer can help explain your child’s rights and prevent him or her from saying something that could incriminate them further. The sooner you obtain a skilled attorney, the sooner your lawyer can contact the state’s advocate to negotiate terms before your child’s case.
For many Connecticut parents, seeing their child arrested for a crime is their greatest fear. As a compassionate juvenile crimes attorney, I understand the stress and helplessness that comes with witnessing your child get in trouble with the law. Having worked with families firsthand, I know that even good kids make mistakes and work tirelessly to keep the Connecticut juvenile justice system from tearing families apart.
For sensitive, skilled juvenile defense, contact The Law Office of Douglas D. Rudolph. I provide all potential Connecticut clients with a free initial consultation, during which I can explain your child’s options in clear, straightforward English. If your family decides to work with me, I will dedicate my extensive resources and legal expertise to protect the future of your child and integrity of your family.