Most children are not considered adults until they reach the age of 18, and even then, it is questionable if they are really ready to take on all the same responsibilities of an adult. When it comes to criminal law in the state of Missouri, it is at the age of 17 that juvenile law may no longer apply. At 17, a juvenile offender may be tried as an adult and face serious, life-long consequences. If your child finds him or herself in trouble with the law, having experienced legal counsel at his or her side could prove extremely beneficial.
There is a big difference between cases handled in juvenile court and criminal court. The juvenile court system focuses on rehabilitation not punishment. Any consequences end when the terms set forth by a juvenile court judge have been met. In criminal court, however, punishment is the goal.
A 17-year-old sentenced in the criminal court system may find it difficult — upon his or her release — to obtain gainful employment or to get into a good school. A criminal conviction can simply alter the course of his or her life forever. Fighting to keep a case in the juvenile court system, if possible, is certainly worth it.
Current laws in Missouri do not do any favors for some children who make mistakes in their later teenage years. Whether your child’s case qualifies for a juvenile law hearing or is moved to criminal court, you can still help them fight for the best outcome possible. To learn how, please take a moment and visit our firm’s website.