Juvenile crimes can include robbery, DUI arrests, murder, drug possession, rape, and any other offense most commonly committed by adults. When a child under 18 years of age commits any of these crimes (or delinquent acts), a juvenile complaint may be filed by a police officer or private citizen. In Missouri, individuals under 18 years of age who commit a delinquent act will be punished under juvenile law. If your child is facing juvenile crimes charges and you want to understand their rights, it is vital that you retain a highly-skilled Missouri criminal defense attorney to build their defense strategy.
As a former criminal prosecutor, I have the experience necessary to represent and defend juveniles in the court system. Using my legal knowledge, I can evaluate and investigate every last detail of your child’s circumstances and strategize an effective defense to maximize the chances of obtaining a favorable outcome for their case. I will fight aggressively to defend your child’s rights.
My firm — The Alsobrook Law Firm — proudly represents clients in the greater Kansas City area and throughout the states of Kansas and Missouri.
A violation or delinquent act committed by a child is referred to as a juvenile crime. For the purpose of the Missouri juvenile code, a child is someone under 17 years of age. Some common types of juvenile crimes in Missouri include:
Juvenile Traffic Violation
Juvenile Drug Possession
Juvenile Marijuana Possession
ID Theft or Check Forgery
Shoplifting and Theft
Vandalism and Graffiti
In the state of Missouri, the juvenile court has jurisdiction over criminal offenses allegedly committed by a child prior to their 17th birthday. An experienced juvenile crimes defense attorney can educate you about the juvenile justice process in Missouri.
The components of the juvenile court process in Missouri include:
Police Contact/Arrest: The police can stop your child based on a reasonable suspicion to investigate a crime or delinquent act. This may lead to an arrest.
Complaint Filed with the Juvenile Court: Following the arrest, the police may decide to release or hold the juvenile for processing. A complaint may be filed with the juvenile court.
Juvenile Court Intake: Here, the intake officer will determine whether to divert the charges to a community program or handle them through official court action. Once a complaint is filed, a summons will be issued seeking to have the child and their custodian appear in court.
Detention: Your child will be held in a juvenile detention facility while the initial investigation, fingerprinting, and photographing takes place. At a detention hearing, a judge will decide whether to detain or release your child. Some alternatives to detention include shelter care, home detention, or electronic monitoring.
Arraignment: At the arraignment hearing, your child is presented with the official complaint and will be allowed to make a plea.
Pretrial: The purpose of the pretrial is to allow your child to discuss the case and alternative resolution methods.
Adjudicatory Hearing: At the adjudicatory hearing, your child will either admit that they committed the delinquent act they were charged with or contest the allegations against them by denying the charges. If the judge finds your child guilty of committing the act, a date will be scheduled for a dispositional hearing.
Pre-Sentence Investigation: A probation officer may complete a pre-sentence investigation to learn about your child and write a disposition or resolution recommendation for the judge.
Dispositional Hearing: This is similar to sentencing for an adult. The judge will decide on and issue the appropriate sentence for your child at the dispositional hearing. Possible dispositions for your child for a misdemeanor or felony juvenile offense include:
A 90-day sentence in a detention facility
Reprimanding the child by educating them about the consequences of their behavior
Placement in a community program
Placement in a residential facility
A skilled attorney can help your child understand the potential outcome or consequence of their case and determine whether they will be tried as an adult.
As mentioned above, the Missouri juvenile courts have jurisdiction over offenses committed by individuals below 17 years. Regardless, a juvenile can be tried as an adult when:
The juvenile is at least 12 years of age and facing felony charges
The charges involved serious felony offenses, such as forcible rape, first- and second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, drug distribution, or forcible sodomy
The juvenile has committed two or more prior unrelated felonies
Depending on the seriousness and severity of the offense, the juvenile will be certified as an adult then tried. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate your child’s situation and advise you regarding the potential penalties.
If convicted of a juvenile crime in Missouri, the possible penalties include:
Fines and restitution
Counseling and other community programs
Substance abuse treatment
A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can review every aspect of your child’s case and determine the best defense strategies.
For a minor, facing juvenile crime allegations can be a scary and unsettling experience. If convicted, they could face devastating, immediate, and life-long ramifications, including difficulties in getting into academic programs, earning scholarships, finding housing, employment, and receiving other potential opportunities. The Missouri juvenile justice system also operates in a different way from the adult court system. Therefore, you need to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney who understands the juvenile court system to help defend your child’s rights.
At The Alsobrook Law Firm, I’m committed to offering experienced legal guidance and handling juvenile cases. As a former criminal prosecutor, I can investigate all of the facts of your child’s case and outline a strong defense for their unique situation. Don’t settle for anything less than compassionate, vigorous representation to defend your child’s legal rights. I can fight vigorously to protect your child’s future and attempt to keep those accusations from ruining their life.
If your child has been charged with a juvenile crime, contact my firm — The Alsobrook Law Firm — to schedule a consultation. I can offer the legal counsel, advocacy, and aggressive representation they need in their juvenile case. My firm proudly represents children under 18 years of age in Kansas City and throughout the states of Kansas and Missouri.