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Portsmouth Criminal Defense Lawyer

Juvenile Criminal Charges

Depending on the offense(s), a person who is fourteen (14) years of age at the time a felony is committed can be tried as an adult in Circuit Court

The defense of Juveniles charged with criminal offenses requires a specialized knowledge of Juvenile and Domestic Relations and Circuit Court procedures.  While guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in all criminal cases, Juvenile dispositional options are much more complex.  Knowledge of Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Corrections, and Court Services/Juvenile Probation operations are needed to identify and try to obtain the best results possible.

Many persons believe that Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Felony convictions "come off" one's record once they turn 18 years of age.  This is wrong.  Adult consequences include:

  1. Prohibition of firearm possession until age 29 or restoration of the right to do so is granted by Circuit Court, depending on offense.
  2. Mandatory prison sentence for violation of Virginia law prohibiting firearm possession.
  3. Increase in Discretionary Sentencing Guidelines if convicted of felonies once adulthood is attained or Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court loses Jurisdiction.
  4. "Sex Offender Registry" if the offense(s) require it;
  5. Possible employment, educational, and military enlistment consequences;

We are experienced in defending Juveniles accused of crimes, and can help.