Mason City Juvenile Crime Lawyer

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Mason City Juvenile Crime Attorney

When a minor is suspected of a criminal offense, their future is placed on the line. A record of criminal history for a juvenile can have devastating consequences for a variety of education or employment opportunities. Unfortunately, minors who had hopes for scholarships or college admittance could see their chances slashed. This is why it is imperative that you seek the legal counsel of a Mason City juvenile crime lawyer.

A skilled and trusted juvenile attorney can be vital when you or your child goes to court with allegations of criminal offenses. With such things as college, military, or other employment futures on the line, it is essential to have someone in your corner who understands your rights and is ready to fight for them.

Mason City Juvenile Crime Lawyer

O’Mara Law Office, PLLC: Skilled Legal Aid for Juveniles

Here at O’Mara Law Office, PLLC, our team of trusted lawyers share over a decade of experience in criminal defense law. We understand that when it comes to cases involving minors, their very future can be threatened by even the smallest of charges. Our team is passionate about obtaining the most positive outcome possible for your case. We are devoted to protecting your rights and the future of you or your loved one.

What Is a Juvenile Crime Lawyer?

A juvenile crime lawyer can have a variety of responsibilities, depending on the circumstances surrounding a case. However, an overarching expectation is that the attorney you hire should be well-versed in all laws pertaining to minors and ensure that they are representing the best interest of the child in the case.

In any criminal case dealing with a minor, it is wise to appoint a juvenile crime lawyer for them, especially with their future at stake. The legal counsel of an attorney can greatly affect the outcome of a case. Our juvenile crime lawyers can try to help you by:

  • Getting cases handled informally so the minor doesn’t become incarcerated and will have no juvenile court record.
  • Ensuring a minor’s release from any possible detention prior to sentencing.
  • Trying to ensure your minor is not tried as an adult.
  • Putting together–and convincing a judge to commit to–a creative and compassionate sentencing.

Common Juvenile Cases in Iowa

It is true that a minor can be charged with just about any offense in Mason City, Iowa, but some offenses occur more frequently than others. These include:

  • Battery
  • Assault
  • Trespass
  • Retail Theft
  • Burglary
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Possession of Alcohol or Other Controlled Substances
  • Sexually Motivated Crimes on Younger Children

With all of these charges, the potential penalties that minors face are often less severe than those received by adults. However, it is still possible for a minor to face jail time and fines, depending on the charges they are facing. The more serious a juvenile criminal offense is, the larger its impact will be on a minor and their future. An experienced and skilled attorney may be able to fight to have these charges expunged or sealed, safe-keeping a minor’s future.

Age Limits in Juvenile Court

In the state of Iowa, juvenile courts have jurisdiction over offenses allegedly committed before a minor’s 18th birthday. After that, the juvenile court can keep jurisdiction over the minor until their 19th birthday, only if it is proven that the crime happened before their 18th birthday. There are some cases where the juvenile court may still provide services until the defendant’s 21st birthday.

There is no statute set for the youngest age a minor can be considered delinquent. However, children under the age of 10 are almost never required to stand trial in a juvenile court. Additionally, any criminal offense committed after a person’s 18th birthday must be tried and charged in adult court.

The Impact of a Criminal Charge on a Juvenile

Throughout the course of their teenage years, students can be charged with a number of offenses, the most common of which typically involve alcohol or drugs. This can lead to their suspension, expulsion, or even a change from their current high school. This could have further repercussions on higher education opportunities. Many scholarships are not available to students with marks on their criminal history. Many collegiate sports teams will also take a criminal record into account when recruiting.

Not only can this affect educational opportunities, but it could also hurt a minor’s chances for acceptance into any U.S. Armed Forces. If they are able to get in, it affects any internal promotions. This is why it is so crucial to retain the services of a trusted and knowledgeable juvenile crime lawyer who can advocate for your child.

Juvenile Law FAQs

Q: What Is the Standard of Proof Used in Juvenile Court?

A: The standard of proof in juvenile cases will often vary depending on the specifics of the case and the penalties at hand. If the juvenile is to be sentenced as a delinquent or to incarceration, the prosecution team must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Other circumstances may arise for the prosecution to prove the charges by evidence, but this mostly applies to civil cases.

Q: Is the Attorney Responsible for Bringing the State’s Case Against the Accused Juvenile?

A: In a state’s case against an accused juvenile, the prosecuting attorney may file a case in either criminal or juvenile court. If the case goes to juvenile court, either a delinquency or a waiver may be filed by the prosecuting attorney. Delinquency explains all allegations brought against the minor and requests the judge to adjudicate the minor as a delinquent.

Q: What Are the 5 Steps in the Juvenile Justice Process?

A: In the state of Iowa, delinquency court proceedings usually consist of these five steps. These steps begin with intake, followed by informal adjustment, various formal proceedings, waiver discussions, and then disposition. However, because all cases are unique, so are their trials. While you can generally expect to experience these steps, each case may be slightly different.

Q: Who Is to Blame for Juvenile Offenders?

A: There are many variables that can be to blame for a juvenile offender’s behavior. Unfortunately, a negative home life can affect a minor’s legal behavior along with the society in which they are being raised. However, a child is still capable of making their own choices when it comes to criminal and delinquent behaviors.

Why Our Legal Services Are Right for Your Criminal Case

At O’Mara Law Office, PLLC, it is our passion to fight on your behalf to ensure a criminal offense has no impact on your future. Let us help you navigate the charges by contacting us today to schedule your free consultation.

Practice Areas

Criminal Law
Family Law
Estate Planning

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