Sevierville Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyers

Allegations of juvenile crime can have a significant effect on a young person's reputation and future. It is crucial that juvenile cases are handled carefully and that the best interests of the child are protected throughout the legal proceedings. Juveniles accused of committing a criminal act can face serious penalties if steps are not taken to protect their rights and best interests.

The experienced Sevierville defense lawyers at Baker and Associates act in the best interests of their young clients and help protect their rights. We understand that the stakes in juvenile cases can be very high because the repercussions can follow the young person throughout his or her life. If your son or daughter has been accused of a crime in Sevierville, please contact us for a free and comprehensive consultation.

Tennessee Juvenile Court Statistics

According to the Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (TCJFCJ), there were 132,677 juvenile court referrals in Tennessee in the year 2012 originating from parents, victims, schools and the state department and another 60,065 referrals that came from law enforcement. In those cases, 192,742 cases resulted in court action, 27,567 referrals resulted in pretrial diversion or informal adjustment and 498 cases went to adult court hearings. In Sevier County, 1,586 children were referred to juvenile court during that same year.

Differences Between Juvenile and Adult Trials

One of the most important roles of a juvenile criminal defense attorney is ensuring that the case stays in juvenile court and out of adult court. Juveniles are afforded certain rights such as confidentiality of records that are not offered to adults. They also are provided more opportunities for rehabilitation and alternative sentencing over punishment. The juvenile court system in Tennessee serves to help children make better choices while the adult court system is designed to punish criminal offenders.

What Happens at a Detention Hearing?

Shortly after a juvenile is detained, a detention hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, the judge will determine if the youth should be kept in detention or allowed to go home until arraignment on the charges. The judge will review if the youth is a danger to the community or him or herself. The judge will have to decide if the juvenile requires secure custody in a detention facility, non-secure custody in a foster home or if the youth will be allowed to go home.

Common Juvenile Crimes

Just about any offense committed by someone who is not yet an adult can end up in juvenile court. The majority of juvenile arrests result from cases of simple assault, theft, drug abuse and disorderly conduct. Very few cases involve violent offenses such as robbery, murder, rape or aggravated assault. However, when a juvenile is accused of these types of crimes, there is a chance that the case will move to adult court especially if the juvenile is over 16 years of age.

Penalties for Juvenile Crimes

The majority of juvenile crimes result in probation, a fine and an order to perform community service. In cases involving drugs and alcohol, the juvenile may be required to receive outpatient or inpatient counseling or treatment. Other youths are required to pay restitution to the alleged victim or to serve time in a Tennessee juvenile correctional facility. Ideally, the penalties will encourage a positive change in the life of the juvenile and not hurt his or her future.

Rights and Opportunities

Unlike adults, the records of juveniles are protected. The public is not allowed access to juvenile records and the juvenile will receive adjudication instead of a conviction. It is also possible to have juvenile records sealed and to have charges expunged. There are many options that must be considered before making any legal decisions that can affect the future of the young person.

For a majority of young offenders, jail or prison is not the answer. The Sevierville juvenile crime defense lawyers at Baker Associates have used our significant experience and skill to craft defense strategies to help bring about successful results in many of our juvenile crime cases. For more information about our juvenile crime defense legal team, please contact us at (865) 546-6000 to discuss your case at absolutely no cost.

Sevierville Criminal Defense Resource Center

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact an attorney at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.

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