Dedicated Memphis Attorney Aids Juveniles Accused of Misconduct
Experienced Tennessee lawyer looks out for the interests of young clients
Being arrested as a minor in Tennessee is not the same as an adult arrest. The juvenile justice system has different goals and procedures. At Jack P. Sherman, Attorney At Law in Memphis, I understand the juvenile justice system and will work hard to protect the rights of your child when he or she has been detained. My law firm has represented clients throughout Shelby County and surrounding areas since 2006.
Basics of the juvenile justice system
In Tennessee, a juvenile is a person under 18 years of age. Cases alleging criminal wrongdoing, or delinquency, by juveniles are handled by the juvenile court system. Juvenile court hearings are closed, and judges rather than juries decide whether juveniles are delinquent, which is similar to a guilty finding in an adult criminal case. I know it is a frightening time when your minor child has been arrested, so you can be confident that I will examine all the evidence involved to build a strong defense for their case.
Type of juvenile offenses
Minors may be arrested for what are called status offenses that include truancy, curfew violations and possessing cigarettes. These types of offenses are only illegal due to age — -an adult would not be arrested for them. Juveniles may also be arrested for the same serious crimes as adults, including the following:
These offenses carry different punishments depending upon specific facts, whether the alleged offense is a misdemeanor or felony, whether the juvenile has a prior record and other factors. When I handle your child’s case, I will always aim to minimize the impact of these charges on their future, working hard to have the charges reduced or dismissed.
Sentences for juvenile offenders
Juveniles found to have committed status offenses may be placed on probation. Punishments for more serious offenses may include probation or being placed in state custody. Alternatively, a diversion program is a non-detention alternative designed to prevent minors from having to further go through the criminal justice system, and involves them doing community-based services. Violent offenders may be sent to a secure Tennessee youth facility. There are also unusual situations in which juveniles may be tried and sentenced as adults. These typically include cases involving murder, kidnapping, rape and other especially violent crimes.
No parent wants to see their child behind bars. If your child is found to be delinquent or facing potential prison time, I will do everything in my legal power to try and obtain the lightest possible penalty.
Contact a reputable juvenile law attorney in Tennessee for help
At Jack P. Sherman, Attorney At Law in Memphis, I have practiced law for over 20 years and will put that experience to work protecting the rights of your child when he or she has been arrested in Tennessee. To schedule a free consultation, call my firm at 901-233-3474 or contact me online.