Fairfax Juvenile Offenses Attorneys
Juvenile Crimes in Virginia
If you, your child, or someone you care about is accused of a crime as a minor, this is known in Virginia as a juvenile offense. Within the criminal justice system, juvenile cases are dealt with in a different way than adult criminal matters. Because of this, it is essential that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who completely understands the juvenile crime process.
At Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, we work to help parents and their accused children understand the charges pending against them, as well as the options they have for defending themselves against serious accusations. Our Fairfax juvenile offense lawyers are available to answer your questions and provide the dedicated representation you need.
Get in touch with us to request a free, confidential consultation. Call (833) 460-2848 or contact us online today to get started.
What Makes Juvenile Cases Different?
Juvenile criminal matters are often viewed as more of an opportunity for rehabilitation rather than an opportunity to impose punishment. Under Virginia law, a “juvenile” is anyone under the age of 18. However, individuals aged 14 to 17 can be tried as adults for certain crimes.
The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) oversees the juvenile justice system in Virginia, focusing primarily on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Within the juvenile justice system, “crimes” are called “offenses,” and juveniles are not “arrested” but, rather, “taken into custody.” Additionally, juveniles are not “charged” with offenses but, instead, “petitioned.”
The juvenile justice system does not hold trials for minors. Instead, it holds adjudicatory hearings with the possibility of the juvenile being found “delinquent” rather than “guilty.” Additionally, delinquents are not sentenced to jail but, rather, placed in detention and/or aftercare (vs. “parole”).
How Serious Are Juvenile Offenses?
Although the juvenile justice system is vastly different than the typical criminal justice system for adults in Virginia, this does not mean that an accusation against a minor should be taken any less seriously than an allegation against an adult.
Juvenile offenders who are found to be delinquent face many potential consequences, including but not limited to:
- Detention in a detention facility
- Restitution paid to victims
- Mandatory participation in various treatments/programs
- Fines up to $500 (depending on the offense)
- Limitations/conditions imposed on the delinquent and/or their parents
- Mandatory participation in community service
- Suspension or delayed issuing of the delinquent’s driver’s license
- Transferring of legal custody to a family member, child welfare, or social services
In some cases, juveniles can also be sent to adult court. The minimum age at which a minor can be tried as an adult in Virginia is 14. If the offense would be a felony if the minor was an adult, and the minor is at least 14 years old, their case may be sent to adult court within the Virginia criminal justice system.
Types of Juvenile Offenses
Juvenile offenses include any criminal activities that would otherwise be classified as crimes under Virginia law.
This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs or driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI)
- Drug charges, including possession, possession with intent to sell, and drug trafficking
- Assault and/or battery, including domestic violence (or “family abuse”)
- Burglary, breaking and entering, vandalism, and other property-related crimes
- Theft crimes, including shoplifting, petty theft, and grand theft
- Traffic violations, such as reckless driving, racing, or driving on a suspended/revoked license
- Possession of alcohol or underage drinking
- Gun crimes, including illegally buying, possessing, or carrying a firearm
- Disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and assault on a law enforcement officer
At Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, we have experience representing juveniles who have been accused of all types of offenses. Our Fairfax juvenile offense attorneys can help you understand your legal rights as you navigate the juvenile justice system, as well as fight to minimize the consequences you face.
Trust Your Future to the Team at Lawrence, Smith & Gardner
Using our knowledge and many years of experience, we can quickly assess your case, as well as anticipate and even suggest the possible ways in which a prosecutor may seek to resolve the case. Whatever the course of action, we always work for our clients’ best interests.
Being found delinquent or entering a guilty plea in a juvenile criminal matter may have an adverse effect on your or your child’s life. We are committed to helping you understand the long-term repercussions that the case may have while working hard to minimize the impact on your or your child’s life. Our firm also handles the sealing and expungement of records when necessary/appropriate.
If you or your child has been accused of a juvenile offense, the stakes are high. Lawrence, Smith & Gardner can help.
Call (833) 460-2848 or contact us online now to set up a completely free and confidential consultation with one of our juvenile offense lawyers in Fairfax.
At Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.
Dear Mr. Brillantine and Mr. Smith,
Thank you so much for your time and effort in the past several weeks. I am forever grateful for your help! Thank you.- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
I just wanted to drop you a note to express my thanks and appreciation for your professional and courteous help and service. The efficient way you and your staff handled my case, resulted in less anxiety for me.- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
We just want to thank you for all your help in our son’s recent traffic case. Things were looking extremely bleak. However, thanks to your knowledge of the law, persistence, ability to talk to people, hard work and grace … What a relief it has been. We also appreciate the courtesy and professionalism of your wonderful staff.- Previous Client
I am consumed with awe for your legal maneuvering to assist me in court yesterday. Thank you for making it possible for me to continue with my life.- Previous Client
To Ron Smith,
I just wanted to extend my gratitude to you for representing me earlier this month when I went back to court to obtain my restricted license. I appreciate the courtesy and professionalism from you and your staff and under no circumstances hope to ever need your services for a serious matter like that again.- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
Thank you for all your help. Please extend my thanks also to Martin for his patient support of an incoherent client, as well as to Lisa for her many phone calls. Thanks for that usually elusive gift … a second chance.- Previous Client
I can’t thank you enough for everything. If it weren’t for you I would be in a world of hurt today. I owe you so many thanks. If you ever need anything!! Please pass along all my thanks to your staff and co-workers. Please let Lisa I’m so sorry you missed her lunch too. Thanks again Ron you ROCK!- Previous Client
Dear Mr. Smith,
I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for your help with my recent difficult situation. I was amazed at your skill and knowledge of the court system, and appreciative of your insight in these matters. I can look back on this experience as a valuable lesson and continue on with my life. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.- Previous Client