Juvenile Cases

Juvenile Criminal Cases, Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings

The ABDO LAW FIRIM will aggressively defend your child who faces charges in the juvenile or adult courts.

Under age 17: When your child who is under age 17 is charged with a criminal offense, the case will be handled by the juvenile court. In certain cases, a juvenile may be tried as an adult. A Michigan juvenile case which involves a criminal charge is referred to as a juvenile delinquency proceeding.

Age 17 or older: A person charged with a crime at age 17 and beyond is treated as an adult and faces criminal penalties which include potential imprisonment. However, an offender age 17 but under 21, may be eligible for special sentencing treatment pursuant to the Youthful Trainee Act (YTA or HYTA). When we are able to achieve a disposition pursuant to YTA, the conviction will be dismissed and the record sealed from public view upon compliance.

Constitutional Rights afforded to Juveniles Charged with a Crime

A juvenile is afforded the same constitutional rights as an adult who is charged with a crime. These rights include:

  • The right to an attorney.
  • The right to be presumed innocent.
  • The right to trial by jury.
  • The right to cross examine and confront witnesses.

In addition, the Michigan Rules of Evidence apply to juvenile cases.

Michigan Penal Code Applies to Juveniles, Sex Crimes by Juveniles

The Michigan Penal Code applies to offenses committed by adults and juveniles. Our Macomb County criminal defense lawyers provide representation to juveniles charged with any Michigan felony or misdemeanor including alcohol crimes (MIP, drunk driving), assault crimes, property crimes, home invasion, MDOP, all drug crimes (use, possession or delivery), retail fraud (shoplifting) and sex crimes. Our firm knows how to aggressively seek dispositions which can result in “no prosecution” or dismissals.

In handling juvenile sex crimes, we have successfully obtained dismissals when our client is able to complete a counseling program or the Macomb County Juvenile Sex Offense Response and Prevention (JSORP) program and does not pose a risk for future inappropriate sexual conduct.

Avoidance of Juvenile Record, Identifying Reasons for Juvenile Misconduct

A juvenile criminal record is a stigma that can be detrimental when applying for college or seeking employment. Our juvenile defense lawyers know the juvenile system which enables us to avoid convictions and obtain dismissals. We achieve these goals by knowing how to work with the court, prosecuting attorney and the police.

Identifying the underlying reasons for the juvenile’s behavior is something that we explore at the first consultation. We know that a child can get in trouble by having the wrong friends, peer pressure or engaging in an prank or activity that gets out of control. Other times, a juvenile may suffer from a psychological disorder or substance abuse problem.

Text Messages and Internet Posts

Your child’s text messages and posts on the internet (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) may support criminal charges (stalking, threats of terrorism) or create an unsavory profile of your child. This is especially true when the text messages or internet posts are of a sexual or violent nature. The posts may be used as evidence by the prosecutor or considered by the court in various ways. Being proactive about how your child uses a cellphone or the internet is therefore imperative. Once under an investigation or in the juvenile system, we invariably recommend that our clients shut down any social media sites or refrain from texting or posting anything on the internet.

The ABDO LAW FIRM will protect all of your child’s rights in the Macomb County Juvenile Court. In many cases, we can have the charge(s) dismissed by application of special provisions of law or proceedings such as “diversion” or “consent calendar”. When a case cannot be resolved to our satisfaction, your child will receive experienced and aggressive legal representation for his or her trial.

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