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Even a minor juvenile crime can become a serious situation

As a parent living in Oklahoma, you no doubt care about your child's future. You want him or her to have a happy and contented adult life. Children who face charges for juvenile crimes may have a harder time achieving these goals, especially if they pass through the juvenile justice system. A conviction for a juvenile crime will have an impact on your child's life for a long time.

Most people would agree that minors do not always have a proper understanding of the consequences of their actions. What may seem like a minor offense to your child and even to you, can have lasting implications. Protecting your child's future in the face of criminal charges is of utmost importance for several reasons.

If the authorities have detained your child, you may expect a simple slap on the wrist to prevent future offenses. Sometimes, this is exactly what happens, but other times, the consequences are far worse. Police officers have a degree of flexibility in how they handle alleged juvenile crimes. They can choose to detain and issue a warning or they can choose to take your child into custody with a referral to a juvenile court officer.

Should the court decide to file formal charges against your child, you can expect a lengthy process. The result could mean a serious sentence for your child. A good way to avoid formal charges is to consult with a criminal defense lawyer. This ensures your child is well prepared for the juvenile justice system, which in turn means a better chance of coming out of the experience without damaging his or her record.

Source: FindLaw, "Minor Crime Is a Major Ordeal," accessed Jan. 19, 2017

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