Missouri treats juveniles in its criminal justice system generally similar to other states. The usual juvenile law framework provides that a person under 18 is charged and prosecuted as a juvenile. Unlike the harsh penal sanctions of the adult criminal justice system, the juvenile system follows a goal of rehabilitation of the individual. However, when a juvenile has a particularly serious prior history of criminality and/or where the crime charged is severely dangerous, the courts can certify the juvenile to be tried as an adult.
Missouri will be coming into line with 45 other states with respect to the age at which a person is automatically charged as an adult. For many years, the state criminal laws have set 17 as the age for being charged as an adult. That will change to age 18 due to a new statute passed overwhelmingly by both houses of the General Assembly. The juvenile law doctrine that gives the prosecution the ability to move the court to have certain juveniles prosecuted as adults will still apply.
A Missouri teenager was recently contacted by law enforcement authorities after word reached police that he made a threat against his high school by using the social media app Snapchat. At this point, charges have not been filed against the young man; however, that does not mean that they won't be. Depending on how this case plays out, the accused may require assistance from an attorney who has experience handling juvenile law cases.
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.
A Missouri teenager was recently arrested for allegedly posting a threatening message online. The message was reported to law enforcement officials by staff from the high school where the accused attends. Due to the age of the accused, this should be a juvenile law matter; however, due to the severity of the alleged crime, this case may be passed onto criminal court
You give your teenager permissions to go out and have fun with his or her friends. A few hours later, you get a phone call from one of many of Missouri's fine police departments. Your child has been arrested for underage drinking. Now what? A juvenile law attorney may be able to help.
Every parent in Missouri is responsible for making sure that their children receive an education. This can be done in a number of ways, including enrolling in public or private schools, pursuing educational opportunities online or opting to utilize a home school option. If a child misses so many days of school in a year, the child and the parent could face a number of penalties thanks to state truancy laws. A juvenile law attorney may be able to help minimize such consequences or fight to get such cases dismissed.
The number of minors in Missouri who consume alcohol is somewhat alarming. Laws have been put in place to deter this behavior, some of which can affect for years those accused of violating them. A juvenile law attorney may be able to help minimize the consequences minors face if they are found with alcohol in their possession.
If your child has been accused of a delinquency of some type, he or she will likely have to appear in juvenile court. In Missouri or elsewhere, juvenile law and criminal law have very different purposes. If your child's case stays within the juvenile system, the end goal will be rehabilitation rather than punishment for the alleged crime.