Flint, MI Juvenile Defense Attorney
A common myth among the youth in Flint, MI, as well as some parents and authority figures is that just because an offender is young, the courts will automatically go easy on them and there will be few if any long-term ramifications. While it is true that many juvenile crimes are treated differently than adult crimes and have the potential to end up with less serious consequences, this is not always the case. If your child has committed a crime or been arrested, the stakes are high. Even a minor crime can give your child a record that could affect his future for years to come. The best course of action is to contact a juvenile defense attorney with a proven track record of successful case outcomes, such as those here at Grabel & Associates. Not only are our Flint defense attorneys dedicated and exceptional lawyers, but many are also parents and aunts or uncles who know on a very personal level what it's like to love a child and be willing to do anything to protect his or her future.
Reasons for Juvenile Arrest
The reasons for a juvenile arrest can be as varied as those for an adult. Any crime an adult is capable of committing can also be committed by a minor, plus other crimes – called status offenses – which are crimes unique to juveniles, such as truancy, breaking curfew, and underage drinking.
Some especially common juvenile crimes in and around the Flint area include:
- Drunk driving
- Sex Offenses
- Statutory rape
- Drug charges
- Petty theft
- Credit card theft
- Check forgery
- Gang violence
- Violent crimes
Regardless of the reason your child was arrested, you need an experienced defense attorney. However, if the arrest was for a violent crime, the situation is vital – call an attorney immediately! You may need a lawyer to help keep your child from being bumped up into adult court, which would give him a criminal record, if convicted, and subject him to a prison sentence in an adult facility.
Flint, Michigan's Juvenile Justice Process
When your child is arrested, the first thing you'll want to know is what is about to happen to him.
If your child is arrested for a crime that requires booking, he or she will first be taken to the police station where the arresting officer works, such as the one at 210 E. 5th Street or the one at 1932 Howard Ave. The phone number for the 5th Street Station is (810) 237-6800 and the number for the Howard Street Station is (810) 239-9190, if you need to reach the police in regard to your child. There are also a number of sub-stations around the city where your child may be taken temporarily. The officers must immediately notify the child's parent or guardian about the arrest. Your first priority at this point should be to go get your child; after that your next priority should be contacting an attorney.
After your child is booked or immediately after the arrest if no booking is required, they will likely be held at the Genessee County Circuit Court at 900 Saginaw Street here in Flint. From here, they may either be released into your custody until their court hearing or transferred to the Genessee Valley Regional Center at 4287 West Pasadena Ave. (a juvenile detention center for minors age 10-17).
Within 24 hours (excluding non-business days, such as holidays and weekends) your child will appear before a judge for an initial hearing. At this hearing, one of four things could happen:
- The case could be dismissed
- The judge and the minor could agree to counseling
- The judge and the minor could agree to court supervision (consent calendar)
- The case could be placed on the formal calendar for a future trial
Facing Juvenile Court
If your child is put on the formal calendar, you absolutely must get an attorney if you haven't already done so – especially if there is any possibility your child’s case could get bumped up to adult court. Generally, this only happens if a minor has committed a serious felony, such as murder or rape, but prosecutors have been known to push for adult court in many situations. If your child is put through adult court, they will have a criminal record and runs the risk of being put in prison. Juvenile court, on the other hand, does not result in a criminal conviction or a criminal record (although juvenile adjudications do show up on criminal background checks by the police and some government agencies).
Even if your child is processed through juvenile court, a dedicated attorney is imperative to clearing his name if he is innocent and in obtaining the best possible scenario if he is guilty of a delinquent act. Judges have a very wide range of sentencing options at their disposal, ranging from community service all the way up to time in a juvenile detention center (the equivalent of jail for minors). A good attorney can make an enormous difference in the way the judge views the facts of the situation and consequently in the sentence he issues.
Remember – taking care of juvenile issues does not just impact your child today, but if he is convicted of a crime at a later date, juvenile offenses will count against him at sentencing time, much like criminal acts. This is true even if the record is sealed!
Call Grabel & Associates for the best juvenile defense in Flint, MI
When it comes to your children, there is no room for inexperienced attorneys. Our lawyers at Grabel & Associates have extensive experience dealing compassionately with young people who need a second chance at life and are committed to helping you and your child walk through this situation and obtain the best possible outcome. So don't wait – call us today to discuss the situation at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online now.