Juvenile Defense Lawyer St Charles, MO
If your child was arrested for a crime, it can be devastating for the entire family. We strongly encourage you to contact an experienced juvenile defense lawyer in St Charles, MO from Traffic Ticket Center today. As your child’s case is already in motion, it’s important that you not delay in seeking legal representation on their behalf. We may be able to protect their future by aggressively defending them as soon as possible. What do I need to know about juvenile crime defense?
We Help Children Who Are in the Juvenile Criminal Justice System
In Missouri, criminal cases against children are handled by prosecutors differently than cases against adults. Because the criminal justice system recognizes that children do not yet have the mental acuity to make the right decisions in all circumstances, minors deserve more leeway than people who are older and can better comprehend right from wrong. Learn about What should I do if my juvenile child has been arrested? Our attorneys at Traffic Ticket Center understand this as well. We may make every effort to accomplish the following:
- Protect your child from harsh punishment from the legal system.
- Maintain your child’s unvarnished record.
- Work with the court to ensure your child has every opportunity to make different decisions from now into the future.
The Juvenile Court System in Missouri
Your child has the legal right to be represented by a juvenile defense lawyer in St Charles, MO. When you hire an experienced attorney from Traffic Ticket Center, our legal team may provide counsel at every stage of the legal process. This includes detention hearings, certification hearings, interrogation while in custody, motions to modify, and adjudications. Because each case is unique based on the circumstances, after a review of your child’s charges and history, an attorney from our firm can provide you with more information about what to expect. Learn more about What Happens in a Juvenile Case?
Prosecution of Juveniles as Adults
The juvenile court can try children as juveniles until they turn 21, as long as they allegedly committed the crime before they turned 17. However, in Missouri, there are many cases in which a juvenile can be tried as an adult. Your child’s juvenile defense lawyer in St Charles, MO might explain that there are two main ways that this can happen:
- Discretionary waiver. The juvenile court has the leeway to demand a transfer hearing for children who are age 12 or older if any party files a motion that the defendant should be tried in adult court. Alternately, this will also happen if the offense is a felony.
- Previous record. If the defendant was certified and prosecuted as an adult for a previous offense, from that time onward they will always be tried as an adult.
What Happens When a Store Accuses Your Child Of Shoplifting
When store personnel accuses your teen of shoplifting, you might not be aware of how serious of a crime this is. The law takes shoplifting charges very seriously and it falls under the crime of theft. Therefore, one of the first things you should do when someone accuses your child of shoplifting is to hire a juvenile defense lawyer St Charles, MO trusts who can help you figure out the best line of defense against these charges. Remember, a person is innocent until proven guilty and when someone is accused of shoplifting, they need to prove that theft took place. For more information on what happens after a shoplifting charge and what you should prepare for in terms of going to court and your teen’s defense, read below.
What Does It Mean To Shoplift?
To prove that actual theft occurred, the burden of proof typically lies on the store. While each state has their own rules and laws regarding shoplifting charges, this type of case typically has two factors that must be true:
- You willfully took possession of an item that the store was selling and attempted to conceal it before leaving the premises.
- You did this so that you could have the item without paying for it.
These are incredibly important elements to consider when someone is charged with shoplifting. This means that you do not even have to leave the store property and someone can accuse you of theft. If store security or a store employee catches you before you leave and you were hiding a piece of merchandise somewhere on your body or in a bag, the intent is clear and the store will consider it to be shoplifting.
Further, shoplifting it not only stealing a piece of merchandise without paying any money for it. On the contrary, you can pay money for an item and still shoplift. If you in any way damage an item to reduce its price, alter the price tag, and switch a more expensive product with the container of a cheaper product, a store will also consider this to be shoplifting. Given the many ways a teen can be accused of shoplifting, it is imperative that you hire a juvenile defense lawyer in St Charles, MO to protect your child’s rights.
How Will Your Child Be Charged?
This will depend a great deal on the item that you are accused of shoplifting. For example, attempting to shoplift an expensive piece of art will likely bring you more severe charges than shoplifting a pack of gum. Additionally, many states will punish shoplifters more severely if the store finds them shoplifting types of explosives or firearms.
Typical charges for shoplifting are:
- A misdemeanor
- An infraction
- A felony
The charge of shoplifting or theft is one of the most common reasons why young people are arrested. There are many different types of theft a person can be charged with. If your child has been accused or arrested for the crime of theft, you need an experienced juvenile defense lawyer in St. Charles, MO from Traffic Ticket Center representing your rights against the prosecution in order to ensure the best possible outcome based on the circumstances of your case. Call our office today to learn more.
What Is Theft?
According to state law, a person is guilty of committing theft if they knowingly do any of the following:
- Taking unauthorized control of another party or party’s property
- Threatens to take possession of another party’s property
- Uses deceptive actions to take possession of another party’s property
- Takes possession of property they know was stolen or they should have known was stolen
Some of the more common types of theft that a juvenile defense lawyer in St. Charles, MO from Traffic Ticket Center has defended clients against include:
- Credit card theft
- Identify theft
- Intellectual property theft
- Online theft
- Possession of a stolen vehicle
- Receiving stolen property
- Retail theft
- Writing bad checks
Many charges of theft are charged as misdemeanors. However, if the accused used force in order to obtain the property or if the value of the property stolen goes over a certain amount, then the charges could be upgraded to felony charges. Each state sets their own value thresholds for theft.
How Can a Juvenile Defense Lawyer in St. Charles, MO Defend Their Client Against Theft?
Entrapment: It is not uncommon for a person who is accused of theft to have been entrapped, meaning that if it were not for a member of law enforcement’s inducements, the individual would not have committed the crime. If the party who had the intent to commit the theft was the undercover officer, and the accused would have no intention of committing the crime on their own, their lawyer may be able to use entrapment as a valid defense.
Right to the Property: If a St. Charles, MO juvenile defense lawyer can show that the accused believed that the property was theirs or that they had a valid, legal claim to the stolen property, then there is the possibility that the charges would be dropped, or the accused found not guilty if there is a trial. There needs to be solid valid to this defense, however, and not just the accused “feelings.”
Returning the Property: Although this may not necessarily be a defense, if the accused gives back the stolen property, they may be able to say they were only borrowing the property and had not intention of keeping it.
What Else Goes Into How I Am Charged?
A judge will also consider a person’s personal character and their record when deciding on a penalty. If the item your teen allegedly shoplifted was of little value and they have no prior criminal record, this can play a huge part in how your St Charles, MO juvenile defense lawyer chooses to craft your defense.
Legal Representation That Can Make a Difference for Your Child’s Future
If you have been arrested for theft, do not wait to obtain legal assistance. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to defend against these charges. Contact a juvenile defense lawyer in St. Charles, MO from Traffic Ticket Center today to set up free and confidential consultation to find out how our legal team can help you.
Whether your child made a mistake or was wrongfully accused, one of our skilled lawyers may step in and guide them through the court system. Our legal team has represented many juveniles who made a mistake and deserved another chance. Contact a juvenile defense lawyer St Charles, MO community members respect at Traffic Ticket Center today for a free consultation.