About Juvenile Crimes
When a Child is Charged with a Crime
If your child has been charged with a crime, you must take action to shield your child from serious consequences which could last for a lifetime. You deserve support and defense, and I am prepared to stand by you as the case progresses, doing everything in my power to help you achieve a favorable result. I know that outcome of this situation may determine your child's future chances of success.
Our state treats children and youths accused of crimes differently from adults. When a young person is arrested in New York, the case may be heard in Family Court or Criminal Court, depending on the child's age and the nature of the offense. Generally, if a child is between 7 and 16 years old at the time the offense is committed, the case will be heard in Family Court. Children as young as 14 years old accused of certain violent felonies may be prosecuted in either Criminal Court or Family Court.
The initial decision about where to prosecute is up to the District Attorney, but young people between the ages of 16 and 18 prosecuted in Criminal Court are eligible to be sentenced as Youthful Offenders. Receipt of Youthful Offender Status seals the record of conviction so that it is not a public record, which is highly preferable to having a criminal conviction stay on the record for the rest of your child's life.
The procedures, agencies involved, and consequences are very different in Family Court than in Criminal Court, so it is important to hire a lawyer familiar with both forums. Having represented hundreds of teenagers in our area through my years of criminal defense practice, I am familiar with the complexities of representing young people in New York State courts on charges such as
weapons crimes. Conviction could mean loss of educational opportunities and it could seriously restrict your child's career opportunities. Do not take any chances with your child's future.