New York Juvenile Probation Defense Attorney Serving NYC and the Hudson Valley
Juvenile prosecution works differently from adult prosecution in New York. The system is geared more heavily toward rehabilitation and reintegration into society, rather than punishment and protection. While the ideal criminal justice system would treat all defendants with rehabilitation in mind, the juvenile justice system at least more directly pursues this goal. Part of this separate system relies upon heavier involvement from the Probation Department.
If your child is facing charges for unlawful juvenile conduct in New York, the right representation can mean the difference between facing adult prosecution in criminal court or juvenile procedures in the family court. A savvy juvenile probation defense attorney can provide your child with the strongest arguments and defense at probation hearings, working toward a resolution that helps solve issues rather than default to incarceration.
Juvenile Crimes Are Heard in New York Family Court
In New York, all defendants aged 16 and older can be prosecuted as adults. For serious criminal offenses, defendants as young as 13 can face prosecution in adult criminal court. Younger juvenile defendants, however, as well as those who are accused of less serious crimes, are sent through a different criminal justice process.
Juvenile defendants aged seven to 15 typically are sent to family court. If found responsible for the crime, the defendant will be declared a “juvenile delinquent” and may face confinement, supervision, and/or clinical treatment. Violation of the law is considered to be a “delinquent act” instead of a crime. The delinquency label applies regardless of whether the charged conduct involves drug possession, assault, destruction of property, shoplifting, or other offenses.
Juvenile defendants aged 13 to 15 who commit serious and/or violent offenses may have their cases heard in Supreme Court instead of family court. If convicted, they will be judged as a “juvenile offender” as opposed to a juvenile delinquent. Juvenile offenders can face incarceration in adult prisons.
Although defendants aged 16 or 17 can be prosecuted as adults, recent changes in the law give New York judges more leeway in finding alternative punishments and rehabilitation programs, rather than defaulting to criminal fines and incarceration.
Probation Plays a Bigger Role in Juvenile Prosecutions
When a juvenile is brought to family court regarding an alleged violation of the law, the Probation Department gets involved almost immediately. The juvenile will typically be interviewed by a probation officer or other agency official at their first hearing. The officer will decide whether the case should proceed or the child should be released and monitored. Juveniles typically have their defense attorney present for this initial interview.
Should the Probation Department determine that the case should continue, they’ll forward the case along to the court and the prosecutor. The Family Court judge will then decide whether the child should be released or held in custody while the matter is pending.
The process illustrates the importance of the Probation Department in juvenile prosecutions. With the right argument and the right representation, the probation officer can be convinced to recommend the case be dropped, or that the child should be released and monitored rather than prosecuted. A seasoned juvenile probation defense attorney can help you nip the charges in the bud, reducing the likelihood of a serious black mark on their record.
Moreover, Probation still serves its typical role at the end of the prosecution: If the fact-finder determines that the child violated the law and is a juvenile delinquent, the court may order formal probation. The Probation Department is then responsible for monitoring and supervising the juvenile’s release and compliance with the conditions of probation.
Probation After Juvenile Conviction
The role of the Probation Department is to protect the community and facilitate the development and reintegration of probationers. Juveniles and adults on probation will be assigned a probation officer, who will require the juvenile to periodically check in over the phone or in-person as well as comply with other relevant restrictions and requirements. These requirements might include drug counseling or behavioral therapy.
Failing to comply with the conditions of probation can lead to subsequent prosecution. If your child has been accused of violating the conditions of their probation, it’s important to get in touch with your New York juvenile criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. People make mistakes, and there’s no need to face additional juvenile or even criminal penalties because of a momentary lapse in judgment or a justifiable error.
Protect Your Kid’s Future With Help From a Hudson Valley Juvenile Probation Defense Lawyer
If your child has been charged with a juvenile offense in New York, or if they have been accused of violating the conditions of their probation anywhere in the Hudson Valley, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C. to speak with a juvenile defense lawyer in Goshen. We represent juvenile clients facing probation and other serious penalties in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.